#foodbeast Brand Cravings Features FOODBEAST Products Recipes SPONSORED Video

This Cajun Empanada Recipe Proves Homemade Is Better

Since the beginning of time, Spanish empanadas have been synonymous with Latin cuisine. These small, stuffed meat pastries are perfect for snacking, and best of all, this timeless cajun empanada recipe can be modified to fit your culinary preferences.

Continuing with more recipes from the Tabasutra cooking seriesthe Tabañero Hot Sauce X FOODBEAST cookbook – we instituted the help of well-known foodie Instagrammer and blogger, Kylie Mazon.

With more than 57K followers on her Cooking With Cocktail Rings Instagram page, Kylie brought a Cajun flare to her empanada recipe, and it looks and tastes amazing.  

empanada recipe

These buttery, crumbly little meat pies are filled with Cajun-seasoned crawfish, diced pancetta, green bell peppers, and, of course, Tabañero Hot Sauce. Still, it wouldn’t be Tabasutra without an exotic bottle grip, and Kylie’s grip may be the most majestic of all.  

The Reverse Unicorn requires precision, class, and finesse, and should really only appear in mythology. However, Kylie showed us that unicorns definitely still exist.

While the Reverse Unicorn Tabasutra bottle grip may be difficult to master, Kylie’s Cajun empanada recipe is super simple and will come in handy during your next soiree. Here’s the recipe, enjoy!    


For the filling

½ lb diced pancetta

1 c diced yellow onion

½ c diced green bell pepper

½ cup diced celery

½ tsp paprika

¼ tsp garlic powder

¼ tsp dried oregano

¼ tsp dried thyme

¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper

1 tbsp all-purpose flour

¾ lb frozen cooked crawfish bodies, thawed and chopped

1 tbsp Tabañero hot sauce

2 tbsp heavy cream

For the dough

3 c all-purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

1½ tsp kosher salt

½ c unsalted butter, cut into ½” pieces

For assembly

1 egg, beaten

Hot sauce, as needed, for dipping

Step 1

Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat, add the pancetta and cook until the fat has rendered and the pancetta turns golden brown. Remove the pancetta to a bowl, leaving as much fat in the pan as possible and return to heat. Add the onion, pepper and celery and sauté, stirring occasionally until the onion is translucent, about 6 minutes. Add the paprika, garlic powder, oregano, thyme, and flour, cooking for an additional 30 seconds.

Step 2

Add the crawfish and cooked pancetta, stirring to combine. Let cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally then stir in hot sauce and cream.

Step 3

In a bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt. Cut in the butter using your hands so the mixture is crumbly. Add just enough cold water until the dough comes together – about 1 cup.

Step 4

Divide dough into 2-inch balls and roll out each piece into a 4 ½-inch circle. Lay on a lightly-floured baking sheet.

Step 5

Heat oven to 375º. Working one at a time, moisten the outer edge of round dough with water, then put about 2 tablespoons of filling in the middle. Wrap the dough around the filling to form an empanada, pressing the edges together. Fold the edges back and finish by pinching little pleats.

Step 6

Place empanadas on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and brush with egg. Bake until golden brown, about 25 minutes.

Photos by Peter Pham

Created in partnership with Tabañero Hot Sauce


If A Monte Cristo Sandwich Had Sex With A Cinnamon Roll, This Is Their Baby


Last week, members of the FOODBEAST Family took part in a Monte Cristo challenge in honor of National Monte Cristo Day.

Typically, a Monte Cristo is a croque-monsieur made of a lean meat (ham, turkey), Gruyere cheese, jam and powdered sugar. Deep fried.

Knowing I was competing with the likes of DudeFoods, The Vulgar Chef, PeepMySneaks and Tym Bussanich was a daunting task. I needed to step things up

Thus was born:

The Monte Cristo Cinnamon Rolls


I took Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls and flattened them out with a layer of Black Pepper Bacon Jam. On top of the jam, I added thin pieces of pancetta and shredded Gruyere. I rolled them up and sliced them.

The rolls were baked for about 20 minutes at 400 degrees. I took them out of the oven and placed them in the freezer for 20 minutes to cool down. I then threw some egg wash on the rolls and coated them with crushed Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Did a quick flash fry for 20 seconds and topped them with powdered sugar.

Tasted surprisingly bomb.

Check out this quick video showcasing all the steps it took to make my Monte Cristo Cinnamon Roll.

A video posted by foodbeast (@foodbeast) on



CRAVING: Pancetta-wrapped, Sausage-stuffed Chicken Breast & Leg

pancetta wrapped sausage stuffed chicken breast leg Baywolf

Most days I know before I enter a restaurant if I’m going to post about something here on FOODBEAST. While we love dining out and sharing our experiences, not every meal we experience is noteworthy enough for you guys. But this was a stark exception.

I got the chance to try Baywolf, a Berkeley/Oakland area restaurant to celebrate my brother’s recent graduation from the Haas Business School. Again, I didn’t plan on writing about anything – just wanted to spend time with friends and family – but then I read this:

Pancetta-wrapped chicken breast and sausage-stuffed legs with mushrooms and spring onions

Immediately I knew that was going to be a contender for my entree choice ($18.50), even while the pan-seared salmon with saffron risotto cake ($24, delicious, thanks vanessa) and the moroccan-style lamb ($22.50, more delicious, thanks John) with couscous seemed to stare seductively into my soul/belly. But pancetta-wrapped anything (or bacon-wrapped for that matter) is hard to pass on, let alone it being stuffed with sausage as too. And it didn’t disappoint.

innards pancetta wrapped sausage stuffed chicken breast leg Baywolf

Excited to come back to this place since the menu offerings seem to change every couple of weeks (farm-to-table) and the ambiance and service was just overall well-done. If you’re in the bay – make the trip.


3853 Piedmont Ave., Oakland CA 94611


Chef Boy-R-Dell: Cooks up Bucatini all’ Amatriciana con Pollo

Some people know how to cook, others say they do and head straight to the Mac ‘n’ Cheese. Once in a while you come across a friend who slaps your appetite in the face and turns you into a lil’ Oliver Twist having you say, “mo’ please”. Ryan Dellorusso, a.k.a. Chef Boy-R-Dell is an Italian Stallion in the kitchen. He will definitely have your taste buds tingling with his pancetta-loving menu. With the knowledge of an Italian and spices and herb straight from the land of the Godfathers, Chef Boy-R-Dell cooks up a delicious lip-smacking meal called Bucatini all’ Amatriciana con Pollo.


Craving: Pancetta N' Parmwich

Parmesan cheese crisps engulf a stray bit of omelet and two pancetta crisps. Looks like an interesting breakfast, carbs, proteins, dairy, green garnish. I’m starving. (PicThx InsaneWiches)