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One of my favorite things in this world is street food, especially from a food truck. In my opinion, the greasier the truck looks, the tastier the food. In New Orleans, food trucks are embraced and often parked out in front of bars to give drunken patrons a chance to buy some food to absorb the all alcohol they’ve consumed. Last year the fairgrounds (in New Orleans) even hosted the first street fare derby where popular food trucks from around the city gathered in the same place, so you taste all the delicious street fare delicacies.

However in Jefferson Parish (county for the rest of the country) food trucks are outlawed.  My parents live 15 minutes away from me in Jefferson parish, so they don’t get to enjoy food trucks like I do.  The law was made a couple years after Hurricane Katrina and the councilman who proposed it stated that the food trucks were eyesores and reminders of the devastation caused by Katrina, you know cause food trucks look so much like FEMA trailers.  The law seemed to largely ignore the fact that a high percentage of these food trucks were operated by recent immigrants that helped rebuild both Orleans and Jefferson parish. These food trucks provided construction workers with a place to eat, without having to drive around to find one of the few restaurants in the city that had reopened.  All in all without them the recovery and rebuilding process would have taken longer.

Anyway, I’m getting away from talking about delicious street food and veering off into politics.  One of my favorite street foods is empanadas. I fell in love with them in Argentina, and various food trucks here serve them as well.  I also lucked out when a girl from Argentina started working at my office in August, and of course I brought her to my house and made her teach me how to make empanadas. Daneila’s recipe for empanadas involved about 2 lbs of ground beef, tons of lemon juice, a chopped onion and red pepper with seasoning to our taste.  Put them in empanada wrappers, and into the oven until it starts to smell delicious.

Even more lucky for me, Daniela’s mother, Viti, came to visit her from Argentina and wanted to make empanadas with my family as well. So Viti, met my mother and they started making empanadas together. My mom (pictured on the left) is beyond excited about her first empanada making experience. Viti’s recipe involves ground beef, olives, and hard boiled eggs. Both versions are equally delicious, and Daniela promised our next session would involve ham and cheese empanadas and possibly empanadas capreses.

In general, empanada fillings don’t really adhere to any rules.  I might attempt some broccoli and cheese empanadas to make my boyfriend eat more vegetables. I can even envision dessert empanadas, just a normal pie filling but then put them inside empanada wrappers, to end up with a flaky, handheld pie treats, yum!  What would your empanada filling consist of?

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