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Thursday 2 May 2013

My Empanadas Edmonton, AB – Amazingly crisp, light and flakey Argentinean empanadas stuffed full with tasty fillings

While driving around running errands and on our way to the Italian Centre Shop, our eye was caught by a bright yellow sign. When we realized it read empanadas – my boyfriend nearly did a u-turn to drive back to it as he loves empanadas… especially ones made traditionally. My Empanadas is located on a strip mall on 51 Avenue, where there are vestiges of previous mom and pop shops remain, and a few brave (and tasty!) places remain. The owner - Carlos Stricker, makes all the empanadas from scratch, bringing alive home recipes from Argentina. He’s detail orientated and will obsessively clean off a table before serving you – and yet will run out to help a customer loaded down with an order… with her car door... Chivarly isn't dead!!! But, lets get onto the best unpretentious empanada’s you can sink your teeth into this side of the border. I don't use the label "best" very often, and this one is well deserved.

We were told we could pick up frozen empanadas to take home and bake ourselves, or if we don’t mind a bit of a wait, he could make us fresh ones to pop into the oven. Fresh empanadas baby!!! There’s fresh tortillas, and pizzas on the menu too, but we’re here to try the empanadas. While waiting for our empanadas to be created, crimped and baked, we sipped on some yerba mate – but not the traditional way through a filtering straw – but in a tea bag, or more properly named as Mate Cocido.

We’re given a little plastic tray and spoon to flip the teabag out so our tea doesn’t over steep. grassy – almost lemon grass notes emerge from this green tea like, well tea as you sip… the taste grows on you as you sip and apparently has some health benefits too!

About 15min later, we are anxiously waiting for the scorching hot out of the oven empanadas to cool down enough so we can bite into them safely. Carlos teases us and quizzes us to see if we can figure out what empanadas we chose earlier. He crimps them all differently so it was easy to figure out which ones we ordered without biting in first!

First up was the traditional Chicken empanada and beef empanada. The pastry used to envelope the generous empanada fillings is incredibly light, flaky, thin, yet strong enough to hold in all the filling and paradoxically – its not greasy or tough!!

The beef empanada was packed full of seasoned lean ground beef, onions, a touch of green olives, some raisins that lent it a bit of sweetness and tomatoes to balance out the savory and just enough jus (not fat) to give it plenty of moisture.

The chicken empanada was loaded up with lots of diced chicken pieces, onions, again a hint of olives and raisins in a tasty, simple gravy.

Next out was the creamy spinach empanada and the smoked chorizo sausage empanada.

The creamy spinach empanada had a molten mixture of spinach, a bit of creamy roasted garlic all in a béchamel sour cream sauce that tasted of sage. Different, but tasty.

Finally, we also tried out the smoked chorizo sausage empanada. The empanada HAD a lot of filling – creamy potato that absorbed the flavors of plenty of ground up smoky and slightly spicy chorizo, caramelized onions and sweet pimentos… but my boyfriend inhaled it so fast, that MY half was decimated and missing most of its filling by the time I got to it. *Grump!* I’m totally getting a full sized smoked chorizo sausage empanada to myself next time!
My bf ate practically all the filling and left me this "half" *grump!*
With plenty of varieties of empanadas, tortillas and pizzas to choose from, you can’t go wrong with the traditional Argentinean flavors here at My Empanadas. We picked up a dozen of the frozen variety to try at home (they're good, but the freshly made ones are waaaay better folks!)... will have to try out other flavors, thier tortillas and pizzas next time... hands off MY empanadas!! Nom!

My Empanadas
10631 51 Av., Edmonton, Alberta T6H 0K8
Phone (780) 756-1345
Mon-Sat 11am-1pm, 4pm-8:30pm, Sun 4pm-8pm
MyEmpanadas on Urbanspoon

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SubC said...

It is actually on 51 Ave (few blocks east of SouthGate), not on 51 st. said...

Whoops! Thanks - got it right in the addy and google maps but corrected it in the blog post now :)

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