Lost and Found from Marta’s Cuban American Kitchen

Martas kitchen logo 1 copy-1

My mom has been in Miami for the summer. Last week she was telling me about an avocado that she had purchased from the local viandero. Here in California we get the Haas avocados that are small with bumpy dark skin. The ones in Miami are considerably larger.

She says this to make the point:
“Es el aguacate que se le perdio a Santa Barbara.” (Translation: “It’s the avocado that was lost by Saint Barbara.”)

By that she meant that it was gigantic. I don’t know if any other Cuban families use this idiom. But she says this all the time. You can bet that if Santa Barbara lost it, it was larger than life.

My son, Adam, has a wristwatch with an extremely large face: “El reloj que se le perdio a Santa Barbara.” Yes, the translation implies that if it’s massive, it must be the one that Santa Barbara lost.

And on it goes…

We joke about it, of course. (We joke about pretty much everything, but that’s not important right now.)

In fact, all of the people in my big, fat Cuban family try to one-up each other when it comes to something Santa Barbara lost.

Which gave me an idea. I had made a ton of picadillo because I wanted to make some empanadas.  But because I sometimes lean toward the lazy side (shut up. I know.) I decided I’d just skip the making of the dough, get a pre-fab pie crust and make (drum roll, please…) A Giant Empanada! (I should totally get extra points for coolness here.)
giant empanada

La Empanada Que Se Le Perdio A Santa Barbara (=D)

1 pkg. Pillsbury Refrigerated Pie Crust (package contains 2 rolled crusts)
Picadillo – this link is to my favorite picadillo recipe and is posted here on Babalú
1 beaten egg

1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Make the picadillo and allow the portion to be used in the empanada to cool.
3. Roll out one pie crust onto a cookie sheet.

pie crust

4. Place the cooled picadillo on one half of pie crust.

empanada filling

5. Smooth edges of pie crust with some of the beaten egg (it works like glue).

egg as glue
6. Fold one side of crust over the filling to create a half moon.
7. Press down the edges and use a fork to press and seal the two sides.

fork edges

8. Make 3 small slits on top of empanada with a sharp knife to vent.
9. Brush beaten egg over the top.
10. Repeat with the other pie crust.
11. Bake at 375 for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.
12. Slice and serve.

This empanada slice is served on a smaller, salad size plate:

slice of empanada

My mom is back from Miami. The first thing she told me was that my cousin had sent me some Cuban galletas from a bakery. (Yay!) She knows I like the really big ones that have the flaky, bread flavor. They’re about the size of a dinner plate.


That’s right… apparently these were the very ones lost by Santa Barbara.  😉

3 thoughts on “Lost and Found from Marta’s Cuban American Kitchen”

  1. What a great idea!!! And then do another one filled with guava and cream cheese for dessert…..mmmmmm

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