1969 Fondue - Mini-Empanadas

The word fondue comes from the French word fondre, meaning “to melt.” Originally it applied only to bread and melted cheese, but in 1969 the term encompassed a range of dishes including cheese, dessert and assortments of meats and vegetables cooked in hot oil. It was a fun and memorable way to highlight a special occasion.



  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 2 Tbsp. vinegar
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. seasoned salt
  • 2 packages prepared pie crust (or make your own)


Prepare the empanada filling by heating 1 Tbsp. olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the ground beef and cook until the beef is cooked completely. Drain the grease and set the beef aside.

In the same pan, heat the remaining 1 Tbsp. olive oil. Add the onion, bell peppers, garlic, tomato paste, vinegar, cumin, chili powder, oregano and seasoned salt. Cook until softened, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the beef and let them simmer over low heat for about 5 more minutes.

Lightly flour a work surface and roll out the pie crust. Cut out 3-inch circles. Add some meat filling to each empanada and fold the dough over in half to enclose the filling. Use a fork to press and seal the edges closed. You can refrigerate the uncooked empanadas for up to 3 hours.

Heat the oil in a deep fryer or fondue pot to 350°. Spear empanadas with fondue forks and cook in hot oil until golden.

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