Empanadas

These homemade empanadas are both easy to make and delicious; an added bonus is that if you cook often then you will likely already have all the ingredients necessary to make them. I love the site I found this recipe from, http://www.laylita.com, she lists some pretty amazing variations for making empanada dough, such as using corn flour, sweet potatoes, yucca, etc. I had never heard of sweet empanadas, but Miss Laylita gives a great Empanada 101 ( http://laylita.com/recipes/all-about-empanadas/ ) in which she discusses adding chocolate, almonds, and even cinnamon and cloves for sweet empanadas. I decided to play it safe this time and make meat empanadas called Empanadas Medocinas.

empanada

Here is the recipe straight from laylita.com with a few minor adaptations.

Ingredients

Dough for empanadas mendocinas – makes about 20 medium or 30 small empanadas
3 cups flour
1 egg yolk
½ cup of grasa – butter
1 cup of warm milk
½ tsp salt

Beef picadillo filling
1 lb ground beef
2 white onions, diced, about 3 cups
1/2 cup butter ( think we could have used some more here)
2 tbs smoked paprika
2 tbs chili powder (you can used a spicy ground pepper here if you want it spicier)
1/2 Tbs dried oregano of or 1 tbs fresh
½ tbs ground cumin
1 bunch green onions, finely chopped
¼ cup sliced green olives
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 black pepper
1 egg, white and yolk separated and lightly whisked

Instructions
Empanada dough
Mix the flour and salt in a food processor, pulse until well combined.
Add butter, blend well.
Add the egg yolk and the milk in small amounts, pulse until small dough clumps start to form.
Make a couple of balls, flatten into disks and chill in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
On a lightly floured surface roll out the dough into a thin sheet and cut out round disc shapes for empanadas (use a small glass bowl). I would say you need dough about 1/8″ thick if you are baking and 1/4″ if frying.
Use the empanada discs immediately or store in the refrigerator or freezer until ready to use.

Beef Filling
Combine the ground beef, paprika, red pepper, cumin, salt and pepper in a large bowl, mix all the ingredients together and chill until ready to use.
Melt the butter in a large frying pan or sauté pan, add the onions and salt, cook until the onions are soft, about 8 minutes.
Add the meat mixture to the onions and cook on medium heat until the meat is done, stir frequently.
Let the meat mixture cool down, and then mix in the chopped green onions and chopped oregano.
To assemble the empanadas add a spoonful of the meat mixture on the center of each empanada disc and add a few sliced olives. Be careful not too overfill. Its a small spoonful!
Brush the edges of the empanada discs with the egg whites. This acts a glue to seal them shut.
Fold the empanada discs and seal the edges gently with your fingers while adding a small amount of water to get a good seal. Take a fork and mark around the edges like you would a pie crust. It will make the pattern seen in the above picture.
Lightly brush the top of the empanadas with the egg white; this will give them a nice crispy, brown outside during baking.
Let the empanadas rest in the fridge for about 30 minutes or until ready to bake.
Pre-heat the oven to 400 F and bake for about 20 minutes.
Serve warm with hot sauce or any other dipping sauces you like.

Yum Yum, happy eating my friends.

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