Empanadas from Giovanna Trimpe

In a medium skillet on medium- high heat add 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil.  Add 1 pound of ground beef and stir to crumble it for about 5 minutes.  Add 1 envelope of taco seasoning and simmer for 15 minutes.

Prepare the dough
In a large bowl add 5 cups of warm water
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
Whisk in 4 1/2 cups of PAN (PAN can be bought in most large supermarkets or any Latin American ethnic store).
Stir well until you can form in your hands a ball the size of a baseball.
On a large sheet of wax paper flatten the dough ball into a circle about 5 to 6 inches in diameter.  Add 3 tablespoons of the meat mix into the middle of the dough and using the wax paper fold the dough in half over the meat.  Make sure the ends are sealed as tight as you can make them.
Prepare empanadas
In a large skillet over medium high heat pour 1 cup of canola oil.  After the oil is heated cook the empanadas 4-5 minutes on each side or until golden brown.  After the first 3 or 4 empanadas are cooked change the heat to medium.  Oil retains a higher heat as it cooks.  Let the empanadas drain on paper towels.
Empanadas are great just as they are, but you can top them with sour cream, hot sauce, or your favorite salsa.  You can also stuff them with various things like chicken, cheese, or fish.

Ponche Crema
A traditional Venezuelan drink
Beat two whites then 4 egg yellows.  To the mixture add very slowly and carefully 1 liter of milk, 2 cans of condensed milk, the zest of one lemon (rinds), teaspoon of vanilla, and lastly 1 liter of rum. Alter amounts according to taste.