She is the champion of saltenha empanada champions and reveals her tricks to make them perfect.

She is the champion of saltenha empanada champions and reveals her tricks to make them perfect.

BUT Norma Ruiz he needed an incentive. The reward is before their eyes, so that they open up completely. The last push to the mind and unleash the dream of selling your empanadaswhich few people knew, but enjoyed so much.

63-year-old woman, born and raised in Salta, discovered the secret at the age of 9 “perfect pie” through his father. From dough to filling. From the pot to the table.

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He makes repulgi with both hands. 16 times to consider him perfect, and 17 times to tell one of the daughters “everything is fine, but nothing more.” Norma treasured her father’s legacy and he has turned it into his own recipe, which he sells by order, by the dozen, and only on Saturdays and Sundays.

Prepare the empanadas from the meat cut with a knife. Also cheese or chicken, although the former are their specialty. It was thanks to them that she became known in her province. “In 2017, my daughter introduced me to the empanada competition. 147 participants. We went alone, with a gazebo, a table and two dozen,” she recalls.

Norma cooks about 15 kg of meat over the weekend (Photo: TN).
Norma cooks about 15 kg of meat over the weekend (Photo: TN).

At his home in Barrio San Cayetano, where he turned an unused room into his kitchen and “local” for customer service, he says. Tennessee which is incredible, despite their low expectations and zero hope of success, He won that competition.

“It was in the district center of Villa Monica. The rest of the participants had beautiful positions, I never thought that I could win, but I did it. And there my life has completely changed“, explain.

The Story of Norma, “Champion of Champions” Empanada Salta

“I was born in Salta, got married when I was 15 years old. I have five daughters: Valeria, Noeliya, Talia, Nadya and Tamara. And I am the grandmother of three male grandchildren,” Norma sums up. Necessity led her to work from a very young age. She worked as a cashier in a supermarket for many years and then devoted herself to gastronomy. “That was my forte,” he says.

At the door of her house and her pancake shop with her five daughters (Photo: TN).
At the door of her house and her pancake shop with her five daughters (Photo: TN).

It was restaurant kitchen worker (for a short time) and had a stall in the market of San Miguel in his province: “He cooked dishes, all kinds of food. I went to events, I liked it, ”he recalls.

But then came the 2017 contest, the sanctification and inner awakening brought by the greatest prize of his life: his daughters. “They signed me up again in 2019. This time on a tour organized by the Minister of Tourism of the city of Salta,” he says.

The exclusive requirement to register for this competition was to win the empanada competition. Norma had to pay tribute to the recent trophy and accepted the challenge to compete against 23 other champion contestants.

On Friday afternoon, she usually prepares the filling and lets it soak up the flavor to make it on Saturday and Sunday (Photo: TN).
On Friday afternoon, she usually prepares the filling and lets it soak up the flavor to make it on Saturday and Sunday (Photo: TN).

“He was called the Champion of Champions Empanada. This was the last tournament held between the champions. And I won it. I came out the champion of championsNorma says proudly, showing off the award that no one has been able to take away from her until today.

This dedication marked the beginning of the birth Ali Empanadas, her business, the one with the abbreviation of her middle name: Alicia. Norma retired three years ago and he invested some of his prizes in remodeling the room and buying stoves and kitchens.

She is the

“Saturday and Sunday I specify. I make about 15 kg of meat. I don’t count the number of empanadas I make, but logically there are many. They call Nadia on her mobile and clients order dozens from me. She takes orders,” he explains.

It is her daughter who provides a convincing fact that Norma does not know: over 130 dozen empanadas, at least those that a woman cooks for the weekend. “On Fridays, I only sell if they ask me to. I have time to ask me from 10 to 15, and on Saturday and Sunday“, he clarifies.

Tips and secrets for making perfect empanadas

According to Norma, there is a series steps and ingredients to follow to ensure that the final product meets expectations. “Here it is customary to do with a lot of potatoes, I don’t. I had a hard time putting it on,” he says.

One of his secrets is that there should not be more than 17 repulgas in an empanada (Photo: TN).
One of his secrets is that there should not be more than 17 repulgas in an empanada (Photo: TN).

And continues: “Pancakes with hot peppers, green onions, hard boiled egg, meat, sliced ​​with a knife. And very juicy. I repeat: I put very few potatoes. And seasoning just right. Cumin, chili and paprika. Meat in very small cubes, the same with potatoes, it should not be visible“.

“The first thing you need to put fat. Fry the onion, whiten it, add seasonings, and then minced meat. It must be well cooked. There you add potatoes – pre-cooked – egg and green onions, ”he explains.

Then he adds: “It must be top quality to make it work. If I buy second-hand meat, I don’t get the desired result.” And he remarks: “The oven must be very hot. If it’s not very hot, empanadas dry out. It’s five minutes for them to come out very juicy“.

A very hot oven and five minutes of cooking to make empanadas juicy (Photo: TN).
A very hot oven and five minutes of cooking to make empanadas juicy (Photo: TN).

“I make the filling alone, no one comes into the kitchen. When I am sure, I will give it (recipe). I know that this is a family, and if I leave it, then only for the sake of my daughters.indicates.

Norma dreams that her project will continue to expand until it becomes a restaurant with more dining options, outdoor tables and chairs, and job opportunities.

Norma and her family sell over 130 dozen empanadas over the weekend (Photo: TN).
Norma and her family sell over 130 dozen empanadas over the weekend (Photo: TN).

“I am satisfied and happy because I dedicate myself to my own. I worked from a very early age. It cost me a lot to collect this place, I am a modest, enterprising woman, I did not give up. I was selling sandwiches so I could buy stuff, it cost me,” he says.

“I don’t get tired, I like it. I love to cook, everything is cute for me. The main thing is to do everything with love. The kitchen does not need so many ingredients: do it with love, and everything will turn outconcludes Norm.

Cinematography, photography and staging: Juan Pablo Chavez.

Video editing: Berenice Laciar.

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