One of the most popular restaurants back in Adelaide, my hometown, is an Argentinian steakhouse. I’m not sure that there’s anything on their menu that doesn’t contain meat, so my expectations for the vegan-friendliness of Argentinian cuisine have always been low. Like so much of Latin America, though, Argentina’s saving grace may just be its fondness for empanadas.
Sure, the ones you’ll find on the streets of Buenos Aires aren’t likely to be vegan. But when Viva Vegan has so many fabulous recipes for homemade vegan empanadas, there’s really no reason to complain. Not only are they delicious, but fun and deceptively impressive!
For dinner at a friend’s house tonight, I made two kinds of empanadas. The first were empanadas humitas, or creamy corn-filled empanadas. I first made these earlier this year, and they’ve been one of my favourite dishes ever since. The herbs in this recipe, particularly chives and dried basil, come together to make this empanada into so much more than the sum of its parts.
While empanadas humitas are common across Latin America, the second empanadas were more of an Argentinian specialty. Dense, meaty and complex, these were filled with seitan, mushrooms, olives, raisins and a powerful blend of spices. These were a risk- Chadwiko hates mushrooms and kalamata olives, while we both detest raisins. I compromised by whizzing these ingredients in the food processor rather than chopping them- the power of electricity reduced these to tiny, unnoticeable pieces. No chunks of unwelcome flavours, just a blend of ingredients that really worked together. The empanadas humitas are still the favourite, but these were a fun change. And I’m sure this won’t be their last appearance in my kitchen.
With not one, but two portable pockets of Argentinian deliciousness, who really needs that old steakhouse anyway?