Make it. Eat it. Love it.
An empanada is a stuffed bread or pastry that is usually fried or baked. They come with a variety of different fillings depending on which Latin American or Southern European country they hail from.
This weeks Food52 challenge was to make your best dumpling. Any food that is wrapped up in a nice little package and steamed, baked, or fried. From perogies to dumplings, kreplach to gyoza.
I started thinking on what I could make to fit this category. I remembered back to when I was at the University of Miami living among the vibrant, colorful and fun culture of Latin America. Sipping Cuban coffee in little Havana and munching on empanadas from various Latin American backgrounds. I dug up an empanada dough recipe that a friend of mine in Miami gave me, that his mother used. I decided to fill mine with my own creation of filling (ingredients I had on hand in the house!) rather then the traditional. But, that is what is so great about this hand held savory food, you can fill it with whatever your hearts desire! I also opted to bake rather then fry my empanadas as to keep the calories and fat a bit lower, and they were just as delicious!
For Empanada Dough
3 Cups Flour
1 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Cup Water
1 Egg white
1 Teaspoon Vinegar
3 Tablespoons Butter, Softened
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil, Plus more for brushing
1/4 Cup Onion, Chopped
1/2 Jalapeno, Seeded, Chopped
2 Garlic Gloves, Chopped
1/2 Teaspoon Cumin
1/2 Teaspoon Paprika
1 14 Ounce Can Black Beans
6 Chicken Sausages, Cooked and Chopped
2 Tablespoons Goat Cheese
Salt and Pepper
Prepare the empanada dough by beating water, egg, egg white and vinegar together in a small bowl and set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour and salt.
Add the butter to the flour and mix using a wooden spoon or your hands (like me) until evenly mixed.
Make a well in the middle of the flour mixture and pour the liquid mixture into the center.
Mix dry and wet ingredients together until it becomes stiff and dough like.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until all the flour is incorporated and dough is smooth.
Shape dough into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
While dough is chilling, prepare filling.
Preheat oven to 400F
Heat 2 Tablespoons of olive oil in a medium pan over medium high heat.
Add onion, garlic and jalapeno to pan and saute until onions become translucent and veggies are tender, about 5-7 minutes.
Add cumin, paprika and salt and pepper to taste and cook for a minute more.
Add beans and chicken sausage and cook until heated through.
Remove from heat and crumble goat cheese into mixture stirring to combine.
Roll out chilled dough and using a large circular cookie cutter (or the mouth of a large mug-like me) cut circles out of dough.
Place a small Tablespoon of mixture into center of the circle.
Fold in half, making sure the mixture stays inside the dough and crimp sides shut with a fork.
Place stuffed empanadas on a baking sheet and brush with olive oil.
Bake for 15 minutes or until lightly brown and crisp.