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Argentine Empanadas

Empanada Dough


¼ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
½ teaspoons salt
1 stick (1/2 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (optional use same amount of shortening)
1 large egg
½ cup ice water
1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar


Sift flour with salt into a large bowl and blend in butter with your fingertips or a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse meal with some (rough pea-size) butter lumps.

Beat together egg, water, and vinegar into a small bowl with a fork. Add to flour mixture, stirring with fork until just incorporated. (mixture will look shaggy.) 

Turn out mixture onto a lightly floured surface and gather together, then knead gently with heel of your hand once or twice, just enough to bring dough together. 

Form dough into a thin rectangle sheet and chill, wrapped in plastic wrap, at least 1 hour. 

cut into 4.5 inch round disks (use round mold or small plates). Makes  approximately 12 disks. Cooks' note: dough can be chilled up to 6 hours. 


Empanada Meat Filling (Picadillo)


2x (2 parts onions)
1x (1 part ground beef) plus Full Olive Empanada Seasoning and that is it!
Below would be for about 24 empanadas

2x (2 lbs yellow onions – sliced thin)
1x (1lb of Ground Beef 80/20 fat content)
3 tablespoons of Full Olive Empanada Seasoning


In a sauté pan, heat the olive oil on medium heat adding chopped onions. Cook the onions until they begin to turn golden. Remove from the heat and stir in Empanada Seasoning

With the the pan on low heat, add the ground beef and stir until the beef is well incorporated into the onions.

Remove beef and onion mixture from pan and place in a storage container and refrigerate until cool.

Making the Empanadas


3 large hard boiled eggs - cut into eighths
12 pimento stuffed green olives - cut in half
24 empanada discs
Meat filling (Picadillo)
One egg with teaspoon of water to create an egg wash for glazing


Place a spoonful of the meat mixture on each round

add a piece of hard boiled egg and a piece of olive 

avoid reaching the edges of the pastry with the filling because its oiliness will prevent good sealing.

slightly wet the edge of the pastry, fold in two, and stick edges together. The shape should resemble that of a half-moon.

You should have a 2/3 to 1/2 inch flat edge of pastry to work with. Seal by twisting edge, step by step, between thumb and index finger, making sure to add pressure before releasing the pinch and moving on to the next curl.

Other sealing procedures like pinching without curling or using a fork to seal will not prevent juice leaks during baking, and empanadas must be juicy. 



Preheat over to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) 

Place empanadas on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Be sure to prick each empanada with a fork hear the curl to allow steam to escape during baking. 

Glaze with egg for sine and bake until golden, about 20-30 minutes. 


Watermelon Salad with Goat Cheese & Balsamic 

Serves 2 large salads or 4 as a side

3 cups watermelon, cut into ¼ inch cubes
2 Persian cucumbers, sliced into ¼ inch thin half-moon shapes or cubes
¼ cup chopped pistachios
2 ounces goat cheese, roughly crumbled
½ lemon, zested and juiced
¼ cup Gran Mendoza Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2-3 tablespoons Millan Aged Balsamic Vinegar
3-4 sprigs of fresh mint, leaves removed and roughly chopped
Flaky sea salt, for garnish


Arrange the cubed watermelon on a wide platter and top with the cucumbers. Scatter the chopped pistachios and crumbled goat cheese on top. Season the watermelon salad with lemon zest and lemon juice and drizzle of the olive oil and aged balsamic. Finish with a hefty sprinkle of flaky salt and chopped mint on top and serve. Enjoy!

Recipe and photo by Samantha Ferraro of Little Ferraro Kitchen


Grilled Potato Asparagus Salad


Mustard Vinaigrette

¼ cup Cruz de Piedra olive oil + more for garnish
2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
1-2 tablespoons champagne vinegar


1½ -2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes cut in half or quarters
6 spears asparagus spears ends trimmed
2 green onions sliced thin
2 tablespoons capers
½ teaspoon Kosher salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
½ cup finely chopped parsley + more for garnish
2 hard boiled eggs chopped


Add the potatoes to a pot of cold water and bring put a boil and cook until potatoes are just fork tender, about 15 minutes. Once done, drain and run under cold water. This can also be made ahead of time.

while the potatoes are cooking, whisk the vinaigrette in a bowl. Add the olive oil, mustard and champagne vinegar to the bottom of a large bowl and whisk until emulsified.

Heat an indoor grill pan or outdoor grill to high heat and lightly brush with oil.

Grill the potatoes and asparagus until lightly charred on all sides, about 4-5 minutes.

Once done, remove the vegetables from the grill and chop them into ¾ to 1-inch pieces and add to the vinaigrette while still warm along with the capers, parsley, green onion and salt and pepper and toss to combine well.

Transfer the potato salad to a platter and top with the chopped hard-boiled eggs, more fresh herbs and final drizzle of olive oil.

Recipe and photo by Samantha Ferraro of Little Ferraro Kitchen


Grilled Tomahawk with Chimichurri Compound


2-2 ½ pound Tomahawk steak
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Gran Mendoza Extra Virgin Olive Oil for brushing on steak 
4 tablespoons of softened butter
2 tablespoons of Chimichurri
Flakey sea salt, for serving


To a bowl, add the softened butter and chimichurri and stir to combine well. You can also process in a small food processor, then set aside.

Bring steak to room temperature before grilling and season liberally with salt and pepper on all sides.

Bring grill pan or outdoor grill to high heat and drizzle a bit of oil onto the steak.

Sear steak for 6-8 minutes until good char marks form. Flip steak over and grill for another 5-6 minutes and cook until reaches an internal temperature of 130-135 degrees for medium-rare. 

Remove steak to a cutting board to rest for at least 10 minutes and place compound butter on top. The heat from the steak will gently melt the butter. Cut steak into slices, sprinkle with course sea salt and service.

Recipe and photo by Samantha Ferraro of Little Ferraro Kitchen


Pork Loin with Balsamic Reduction


1 pork loin (1 pound)
2 ½ tsp of salted peanuts
1 tbsp of soy sauce
1 tbsp of Millan Aged Balsamic Vinegar
1 pinch of black pepper
½ cup of wax beans
2 tsp Laur Mendoza Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 yellow sweet pepper
1 medium sized onion
½ tsp of sea salt


Marinate the pork loin for 2 hours with Millan Aged Balsamic Vinegar, soy sauce and salted peanuts.

Grill the vegetables for about 15 minutes on medium heat.

Grill pork loin for about 18 minutes, cut in half and serve with the vegetables.