Perhaps I should have stuck to The South American Table. Mrs. Line pointed out one of her cookbooks, so I flipped through the pages and looked at all of the pictures. One recipe was for empanadas. It gave instructions on how to deep fry the dough and cut a slit into the pocket so that you could slip a raw egg inside before dropping it back into the oil to cook through. The next page had a variation in which you just filled it with cooked meat.
We’re still a little bit wary about street food, so I decided it would be safer to try making empanadas at home. The recipe was pretty simple: add 1 1/4 c water to 1 c of the arepa flour. Form mixture into golf-ball sized rounds. Flatten on a banana leaf …I didn’t have any, so I sprinkled extra arepa flour on the board to keep the dough from sticking. Place a teaspoon of meat in the center before folding over and pinching the edges to seal it. Deep fry.
The problem in the end wasn’t the texture. It was lack of flavor. Maybe it’s better this way, though. Wouldn’t want to get into the practice of deep frying everything.