Dobladas are the Guatemalan version of a fried meat pie, comparable to an empanada in some countries. We'd heard about them from our friends, so we decided to try our hand at making them ourselves. It turned out to be pretty easy to do - and delicious, to boot!
Dobladas are fairly simple to make, because they are made up of three main ingredients. I'd suggest having your filling prepared before you start the masa so that the masa doesn't get dry. Many Guatemalans use queso fresco or queso de capas, a strong soft white cheese easily found in a variety of Guatemalan stores.
Here we used queso de capas, which comes in a soft white block, but we've crumbled it into manageable chunks to make it easier to scoop.
We also prepared hamburger meat, browned and drained, mixed with tomato, onion, and black pepper (you can also use red pepper). You can add other spices like garlic, Guatemalan standard consome, and others to suit your taste.
After you've finished the filling, you're ready to prepare the masa mixture. Maseca is a famous powdered version of nixtamal or cornmeal used to make masa. Maseca is easily found in many stores in Guatemala and around the world in the flour aisle of the grocery store. Scoop the amount of Maseca you need into a bowl big enough to knead the masa. Next, add water to the mixture and knead until it reaches a pliable, non-sticky plasticine consistency (like play-dough). You can look on the side of the bag for measurements according to the amount of masa you want to make.
Scoop a ball of dough about two inches in diameter and flatten it (but not too thinly) into a flat disc about the size of your palm.
Now you're ready to add the filling.
Fill the middle of the disc with filling, leaving about an inch around the edges.
This step is where the doblada gets its name (doblar means to fold in half). Carefully fold the edges together and pinch to hold them closed.
Make sure your grease is hot and ready for frying. Put the dobladas in the grease to cook.
When one side is brown, flip and let the other side cook.
Drain the excess grease on a paper towel.
Now you're ready to serve this tasty Guatemalan treat. Many times it's served with cabbage, salsa, and queso on top (you can use the same cheese you put inside). Enjoy!