This post is part of the World Cup for Kids project from Multicultural Kid Blogs. Each time Costa Rica plays, I will be doing a post on some aspect of that country’s culture. Today I am sharing about one of our favorite snacks!
Many countries throughout Latin America have some version of the empanada – the hand-held savory pastry that has echoes of the Indian samosa and Cornish pasty. The Costa Rican version is made with corn meal and is typically filled with a black bean mixture or just cheese, as in the recipe below.
If you visit with families in Costa Rica, chances are you will be treated to these tasty snacks, which kids there love (including mine!) They are usually served mid-afternoon, along with a good cup of coffee (for adults) and agua dulce for kids.
Here is own you can make your own! Keep in mind this is something that is usually made more by feel than by following a strict recipe:
Costa Rican Empanadas
Couple cups of masa harina (corn masa flour) (We use Maseca)
Pinch of salt
Spices (Often crumbled cubito – bouillon cube – and a dash of Salsa Lizano. We also like adding a bit of garlic powder)
Grated white cheese (We use Monterey Jack)
1. Mix together the Maseca, salt, and spices then slowly add water until you get a dough-like consistency. (This for me is always the difficult part, determining when the masa has just enough water without getting too soggy).
2. Pinch off a small portion and form into a ball. Flatten into a disk. (There are tortilla presses you can use, though many people just use a plate. It also helps to form your disk on a piece of plastic or wax paper, which makes the folding in Step 4 easier).
3. Layer grated cheese onto one side of the disk, leaving a margin of roughly 1/4 inch.
4. Fold over to form a semi-circle. Pinch together the edges.
5. Fry in an inch or so of oil, turning halfway through until golden on both sides. Drain on paper towels and serve warm.
Don’t forget you can also follow my Costa Rica board on Pinterest: