The Secret to Great Empanadas

The Secret to Great Empanadas

Good morning. J. Kenji López-Alt has a fascinating article in The Times this week about a trip he took with his wife, Adri, to her native Colombia, and the empanadas (above) he learned to make there with the chef Carlos Gaviria. Kenji was left speechless, he wrote, by the secret ingredient used to make the dough: popcorn.

It’s a cool technique that results in a spectacularly crisp empanada, but if you don’t want to do the work to make it, Kenji has a recipe for a more traditional dough as well, along with one for a bright salsa to go with whichever version you choose. Frying empanadas should be in your game plan for this week. I’m not here to boss you around, but I’m thinking it could be your Friday night activity, a beautiful start to the weekend many of us start thinking about today.

More immediately, you might consider a meal of grilled summer vegetables with tahini dressing, or some chicken wings and mango slaw.

I’d like to have French toast for breakfast one day this week, with some plain yogurt on the side, topped with blueberries. I’d like to have a simple steak with ginger-butter sauce as well, or some beans and garlic toast in broth.

There could be a dinner of cumin-lime shrimp with ginger. Or one of our collection of bright and beautiful summer pastas.

And for sure I’ll be making sandwiches for lunch: Italian-style tuna, for instance; tomato and mayonnaise; turkey and apple.

Many thousands more recipes to consider cooking this week are waiting for you on NYT Cooking. Yes, a subscription is required to access all of them, and to use all of the features on our site and apps. Subscriptions support our work and allow it to continue. I hope you will consider, if you haven’t already, subscribing today.

And if something goes wrong along the way, either with your cooking or our technology. Simply reach out for help. Drop us a line: And someone will get back to you, I promise.

Now, it’s nothing to do with calamansi or sea bream, but the great Jon Pareles recently turned me on to Admas, a band of Ethiopian expats in Washington, D.C., whose 1984 album “Sons of Ethiopia” is a rare and coveted find in the world that JP inhabits. Frederiksberg Records released a remastered version of the record late last month; you can listen to the track he recommended to me, “Kalatashe Waga,” on YouTube. It’s like instrumental go-go meets Ethiopian synth: excellent cooking music, in other words.

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