Saturday, March 22, 2014

Baked Empanadas

 So we already have gathered that I love dumplings...Well, these are at least second-place in my rankings. This crispy, buttery crust encapsules the spicy, tangy, meaty goodness that reminds me of some tropical vacation. Dipped in a gooey cheese sauce, these empanadas make my day.

 Dough Ingredients:

-3 cups all-purpose flour
-¼ teaspoon salt
-6 oz unsalted butter (1 ½ sticks), chilled and cut into 12 pieces
-1 egg
-4-5 tbs water

 Combine flour and salt in your food processor. Add in butter and egg. Pulse until fully combined. Sprinkle in water with the machine on until the dough clumps up. You may not need all of the water. (You can also do this by hand if you don't have a food processor (or if you haven't made it to the gym this week).

Dump out the dough onto the counter and form a ball. Flatten it slightly, wrap it in plastic, and place it in the fridge for about 1 hour.

Empanada Filling:

-2 cloves of garlic, minced
-1/2 cup shredded carrot, minced
-1/2 cup yellow onion, minced
-1 tsp. cumin
-1 tsp. smoked paprika
-1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
-1/4 tsp. mustard powder
-1 tsp. salt
-1/4 tsp. ground pepper
-1/2lb of ground pork
-1/2 lb. of ground beef

Heat a large pan on medium-high. Pour in a glug of olive oil and wait until you feel the heat radiating when you wave your hand in the air over the pan. Add in your onions and garlic. Let them sizzle and get nice and golden brown--about 5 minutes. Next, add in your carrot. Toss this all around and then add in all of your spices and salt and pepper. Let this mixture get nice and fragrant. Last, add in the ground meat and combine fully. Cook down 5-10 minutes until fully browned. Taste, and add more cayenne to taste or more salt if needed.

 Set aside to cool.

In the meantime, take your dough out of the refrigerator and roll out until thin, using a little flour to keep it from sticking. Using a small bowl, large cookie-cutter or even just a knife (if you are good at things like that) cut out 6 inch rounds. Lay them onto a tray covered with tin foil. Start adding about 1 tablespoon of the filling onto each round and fold over, pressing the edges together with a fork. Make sure no filling is escaping, because they will pop open in the oven!

When you have finished filling them, brush all of the tops with egg wash and place back in the fridge for 30 minutes. This will help them stay sealed in the oven.

Preheat the oven to 400F. Bake empanadas for 18-25 minutes, until bubbly and golden brown.

Serve with white queso from the Mexican section--or sour cream! Yum....

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