I'm not exactly sure what category I should put these fabulous morsels of deliciousness into. Appetizers? side dishes? snacks? Things you discover in the fridge and end up polishing off the entire batch? To be honest, really almost anything goes because they're so darn good.
I'm afraid I don't have any amusing anecdotes about these yummy treats, all I can say is do yourself a favor and make them, you definitely won't regret it.
Besides th taste, one of the best things about this recipe is how quick ande easy the dough is- you don't need to melt butter or margarine or let it rise as you would for a yeast dough. All you have to do is mix, knead a little bit, and let it sit 15 minutes before you start rolling and filling. Piece of cake.
The original recipe calls for a meat filling, but lately I've been using mashed sweet potatoes and the texture contrast betwen the crunchy dough and the creamy filling is just amazing. However, I included the recipe for the meat filling because it isn't too bad either.
The recipe produces almost 70 (!!!) fairly small empanadas but don't be intimidated by the size- they go quickly...
Ingredients for sweet potato filling: ( I like to make the filling first and then make the dough while the filling is cooling off)
1 peeled and sliced sweet potato (don't put too much effort into slicing, it'll all end up being mashed eventually)
1 peeled and chopped clove of garlic
1 tablespoon of olive oil
Combine all ingredients and transfer to a baking-paper covered cookie sheet. Bake at 400 F or 200 C until sweeet potato slices are soft. Transfer ingredients to your food processor (or just mash with a potato masher) until smooth. Let puree' come to room temperature and meanwhile make the dough.
Ingredients for meat filling:
2 tablespoons of oil
1 finely chopped onion
1 lb. ground beef (about 400 grams)
salt and pepper to taste
In a frying pan, heat the oil and brown the onion. Add the meat and cook over a medium flame while stirring and breaking up big chunks until the meat is brown. Season with salt and pepper and bring to room temperature. Meanwhile, make the dough.
I ngredients for the dough:
4 cups of flour
half a tablespoon of salt
half a cup of oil canola\vegetable oil
1 cup of water
1 egg, for brushing
In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients except for the egg.
When a ball of dough is formed, cover the bowl and let sit for 15 minutes.
Roll out the dough and with a glass or round cookie cutter cut out circles. At the edge of every circle of dough place a tablespoon of filling and seal, creating a half-moon. Place the empanadas on a cookie sheet covered with baking paper (you may need two). Heat the oven to 350 F or 180 C and beat the egg. Brush each pastry with egg and bake for about 30 minutes, until golden. You may now pig out.
These two fillings are great, so I haven't ben too adventurous trying new ones, but I'm sure there are plenty others that would work: chicken, avocadoes, potatoes...let m know what works for you!