Tea & Mango Empanadas

El amor entra por la cocina.
Love enters through the kitchen.

I thought quoting Laura Esquivel’s “Like Water for Chocolate” would be a more romantic approach to describing the relationship between love, life and food, especially these gooey, homey mango empanadas.

“Mi abuela tenía una teoría muy interesante; decía que todos nacemos con una caja de fósforos adentro, pero que no podemos encenderlos solos… necesitamos la ayuda del oxígeno y una vela. En este caso el oxígeno, por ejemplo, vendría del aliento de la persona que amamos; la vela podría ser cualquier tipo de comida, música, caricia, palabra o sonido que engendre la explosión que encenderá uno de los fósforos. Por un momento, nos deslumbra una emoción intensa. Una tibieza placentera crece dentro de nosotros, desvaneciéndose a medida que pasa el tiempo, hasta que llega una nueva explosión a revivirla. Cada persona tiene que descubrir qué disparará esas explosiones para poder vivir, puesto que la combustión que ocurre cuando uno de los fósforos se enciende es lo que nutre al alma. Ese fuego, en resumen, es su alimento. Si uno no averigua a tiempo qué cosa inicia esas explosiones, la caja de fósforos se humedece y ni uno solo de los fósforos se encenderá nunca.”

“My grandmother had a very interesting theory; she said each of us is born with a box of matches inside us but we can’t strike them all by ourselves… we need the help of oxygen and a candle. In this case the oxygen, for example, would come from the breath of the person we love; the candle could be any kind of food, music, caress, word, or sound that engenders the explosion that lights one of the matches. For a moment, we are dazzled by an intense emotion. A pleasant warmth grows within us, fading slowly as time goes by, until a new explosion comes along to revive it. Each person has to discover what will set off those explosions in order to live, since the combustion that occurs when one of them is ignited is what nourishes the soul. That fire, in short, is its food. If one doesn’t find out in time what will set off these explosions, the box of matches dampens, and not a single match will ever be lighted.”

Tea & Mango Empanadas

Tea & Mango Empanadas

Tea & Mango Empanadas

Tea Mango Empanadas

Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine Argentinian, Latinamerican
Servings 8 servings


  • 8 4.5" empanada wrappers
  • 1 7 oz package mango paste, sliced in 1/4" pieces
  • 1 7 oz package halloumi cheese, sliced 1/8" pieces
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 8 dried chamomile flowers
  • 1/4 stick unsalted butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp white sugar


  1. Assemble empanadas by placing a piece of cheese and mango paste in the center of each wrapper. Sprinkle with a pinch of ground ginger and a ground chamomile flower. Close each empanada by folding over in half to form a half circle, then seal by pinching, stretching, and folding over along the open edge of the wrapper. Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.

  2. Heat oven to 400°F. Rub a baking sheet with butter and lay out empanadas on a single layer, about an inch apart. Whisk together egg and water in a small bowl. Lightly brush egg wash over empanadas and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 20 minutes, or until a light golden color.


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