Care.Connection.Community with Cristian Vasquez

Saturday, Apr 4, 2020

Cristian Vasquez, Director of Retail and Catering, makes his end of year remarks at the annual Campus Dining End of the Year Celebration. June 2018

Cristian Vasquez, Director of Retail and Catering, makes his end of year remarks at the annual Campus Dining End of the Year Celebration.
June 2018

Making this delicious appetizer has been a family tradition for over 50 years in my family. My father, my mother, and sister would all participate in making these every Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday. I now create these memories with my wife and my two sons. Cooking together, eating together, and spending time together are the memories that come to mind when I eat an empanada. 

Cooking time is family time. What better time than now, while quarantined at home to make these delicious turnovers and enjoy quality time with your family. I invite you to go ahead and take advantage of this time to create beautiful memories while making this delicious recipe.

-Cristian Vasquez, Director of Retail and Catering

Cristian Vasquez, Director of Retail and Catering, and Paul Dylik, Assistant Director, Grad/Catering, during lunch set up at the Princeton Thrive Conference. October 2019

Cristian Vasquez, Director of Retail and Catering, and Paul Dylik, Assistant Director, Grad/Catering, during lunch set up at the Princeton Thrive Conference.
October 2019

  
Empanadas
From Cristian Vasquez, Director of Retail and Catering

1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
½ lb Ground Beef
½ Medium Yellow Onion, finely chopped
¼ cup Tomato Sauce
6 Spanish Olives Stuffed with Minced Pimientos, thinly sliced
2 tbsp Goya Sofrito
1 packet Sazon Goya with Coriander and Annatto
1 tsp Minced Garlic
½ tsp Dried Oregano
Ground Black Pepper, to taste
1 (14 ounce) package Goya Discos (dough for turnover pastries), thawed
Corn Oil, for frying

Directions

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add ground beef and cook until browned, breaking up meat with a wooden spoon, about 10 minutes. Add onions and cook until soft, about 5 minutes more. Stir in tomato sauce, olives, sofrito, sazon, garlic, oregano and black pepper. Lower heat to medium-low and simmer until mixture thickens, about 15 minutes.

On a lightly floured work surface, using a rolling pin, roll out discos until 1/2-inch larger in diameter. Spoon about 1 tbsp. meat mixture into middle, fold in half to form a half moon; moisten edges with water and pinch to seal closed, or seal with a fork.

Fill a deep saucepan with oil to a depth of 2 1/2-inches. Heat oil over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking (350 degrees F on deep-fry thermometer). Cook empanadas in batches until crisp and golden brown, flipping once, 4 - 6 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain.

For vegetarian options replace the beef with cheese.

 

Beef filling and pepper on a pastry disc for empanadas.      A fork presses into the empanada dough to seal it.Three empanadas frying in a pan on the stove.      Two finished empanadas.


A message to our community

As we acclimate to the new ways on campus, I realize so much has changed in just a few days. Some of the things that gave me the most joy, such as meeting with our students, talking with you during special events, or meeting my colleagues can no longer happen in the same way, at least for the time being. Along with my team, I wanted to think of ways to keep our connections alive, continue to show our care, and engage with our community. That being said, we are starting a new series called, Care.Connection.Community through which we will share messages with you.

Stay healthy and be well,
Smitha
dining@princeton.edu