Country we are exploring: Argentina

Continent: South America

Official Language(s): Spanish

Suggestion for fun image:
Chef Koochooloo characters dancing the tango or drinking mate
Chef Koochooloo characters riding dinosaurs

Fun Fact:
The oldest known dinosaur species have been traced back to Argentina and Brazil. Some are 230 million years old! Well-preserved displays of dinosaur bones (fossils) can be found in the Argentine National Historical Museum in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

English Recipe Name: Corn Empanadas

Name of Dish in native country: Empanadas de Humitas

Type of Dish: Appetizer or side dish

Recommended season or holiday:
Fourth of July, New Year’s Eve

Serving Size: 10

Ingredient spotlight:
Did you know that corn comes in various colors such as white, yellow, blue, purple and red? Corn is high in antioxidants. Antioxidants are vitamins and other nutrients that help protect your cells from the damaging effects of free radicals; in other words, they are like vitamin “superheroes” who fight the chemical “bad guys” that try to make you sick. They help prevent sicknesses of the heart and cancer. Corn is also used as an ingredient in over 3,500 varying products. Can you guess which what types of products you can find corn in? Corn can be found in foods like soda, chips, and cereal as a sweetener called corn syrup, which isn’t good for us. Corn can also be found in crazy things like soap, plastic, and paint.

Measuring cups

4 tbsp butter
2 medium white onions
1 red bell pepper
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp ground nutmeg
Kosher or fine sea salt
Freshly ground pepper (preferably white)
2 cups defrosted frozen, canned or fresh corn
1 heaping tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
8 (6-inch) store-bought empanada wrappers, preferably red (seasoned)
Vegetable or canola oil

Big Chef Duties:
Defrost the empanada wraps (if purchased frozen)
Wash and chop the onions in small pieces
Cut the bell pepper and dice into small cubes
Heat the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat
Sauté the onions for 5 minutes or until golden brown
Add the peppers and sauté for an additional 5 minutes
Add the flour to the cooked vegetables and cook until bubbling (about 3 minutes)
Add the milk slowly while whisking constantly
Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly
Add the paprika, nutmeg and salt and pepper, to taste
Stir in the corn and parsley, return to a simmer and cook until corn is warmed through
Scrape the filling into a bowl and cool completely before calling in the Little Chefs to fill the wrappers
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F
Help the Little Chefs with filling the empanadas
Once the Little Chefs are done with their duties, bake until the empanadas are light golden brown, about 25 minutes

Little Chef Duties:
Moisten the edges of 1 of the empanada wrappers with a fingertip dipped in warm water
Put ⅓ cup of the filling on the center of the wrapper
Bring the sides of the wrapper together to meet over the filling and pinch the sides together to seal and form a half-moon shape
Lay the half-moon flat on the kitchen counter. Work your way around the edges, bringing about 1/2-inch of the bottom layer of dough up and over the top layer, to make a mini-pleat (half moon). Press as you go to seal the pleats
Repeat with remaining wrappers and filling
Grease two pans with a brush and olive oil
Place the empanadas on the baking sheets and give the pans to the Big Chef

Learn while you wait:
Take any extra dough and shape a piece like the country of Argentina. What geometric shape is it? (It is a wedge/triangle.) What other shapes can you make with the dough?

Allow the empanadas to cool for a few minutes before serving. Place all the little triangles on a big plate with a toothpick in each triangle to keep everything in place. Serve with chips.

Teach the kids how to say Bon Appetit in the language of this recipe::
Buen Provecho!

Did you know?
Did you know that in Argentina, children who don’t obey their teachers can be spanked?

Conversation igniters:
When kids don’t listen to the teacher at your school, what is the consequence?

Take action: