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Latin treats from a TV newsman

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HOUSTON (FOX 26) -

To Houston's Spanish speaking community, Marcello Marini is a well-known newsman, having anchored the newscasts at the Houston Telemundo station for many years until his retirement last year.  He even anchored a Spanish-language newscast on Channel 26 in the 1980s.

But here's a news flash - the Marini name is also known for a wonderful Latin treat called the empanada.

Houston food blogger Maya Fasthoff went to visit Marini and talk about his other passion - The Original Marini's Empanada House.

"We started making empanadas by accident, when we first came here from Argentina and I was looking for work in television," Marini said.

He eventually got that job in TV, but he and his wife also kept making and selling empanadas.

"Empanada, for those who don't know, means 'in between bread'," Marini told Fasthoff.

He then showed her what looks like a simple procedure for making them, but in reality takes a lot of skill and practice.  Round pieces of dough are filled with either savory or sweet fillings, then they are hand folded into the traditional pie-like shape and either deep fried or baked until golden brown.

Making them seems easy, but it is a very time consuming and tricky procedure.

"It's a labor of love," Marini said.

During her visit, Fasthoff tried a basil-tomato empanada and a beef empanada. Biting into the beef one, she discovered a small hazard. The meat is so fresh and juicy that juices from the meat gush out of the empanada when you bite into it.

The Original Marini's Empanada House is located in the Carillion Shopping Center at 10001 Westheimer Rd., just east of the Sam Houston Tollway.

For more information, go to:

http://www.theoriginalmarinisempanadahouse.com/

To read Maya Fasthoff's blog, check out:

www.restaurantraveler.com

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