Jose Andres says: "I love America! Without a doubt, one of my favorite American ingredients is blue crabs, a true delicacy! And a great value, I think." This recipe is his twist on the traditional Basque txangurro (crab simmered with tomato), crossed with a Galician empanada (a savory pie). "Part of my efforts to build a bridge between America and Spain," he explains.
At Panamonte Inn & Spa, chef Charlie Collins teaches students how to make perfectly flaky empanada dough. For fillings, he uses local ingredients like beef jerk (dried, preseasoned meat) and culantro (a long-leafed herb with a pungent flavor); ground beef and cilantro are fine substitutes.
"In Argentina, we eat so much beef. When I talked to [Mauricio] Couly about making empanadas, I said, 'It would be great to fill them with something that is not meat,'" Piero Incisa della Rocchetta recalls. Mauricio Couly uses a mix of spinach, fava beans, green beans and a good amount of mint. He makes his own paprika-spiced empanada dough; store-bought empanada wrappers (available in the freezer section of many supermarkets and specialty food stores) work well, too.
"We try to make a different menu every day, often using the same ingredients," says Pedro Miguel Schiaffino about the challenges of creating recipes for a cruise ship. Yucca, one of the most ubiquitous root vegetables in the Amazon, appears in many of his dishes. Here he turns pure yucca into a dough for fried empanadas, a typical street food in Iquitos, the largest city in the Peruvian rain forest.
Tempeh has a long way to go before it becomes as popular as other soy products, but its wonderfully firm texture and versatility make it an excellent protein source. Here, it's a stand-in for ground meat in a vegan baked empanada.