Saturday, April 5, 2014

Empanadas


I have been craving empanadas for a couple of months. Different Latin American countries have different versions of empanadas.  I have some friends who make THE best empanadas from Argentina. I'm pretty sure theirs will always be my favorite. But I decided to make some myself, unsure if we'd like them at all. I found this recipe online at Laylita's Recipes. I've made a few of her recipes before and they all turned out great. I will definitely be making these again, maybe to share next time.

The dough is soft and rolls out easily without being sticky. I made the picadillo recipe the same as Laylita's except I added garlic and used black olives instead of green because that's what we like. And I didn't layer the ingredients. I chopped the eggs and mixed it and the olives in with the ground beef. I made those changes to the recipe I am sharing below, but you can check hers out to see another way to do it. This made 23 small empanadas for me.


Empanadas
Dough:
3 c. flour
1 egg yolk
½ c. butter
¾ - 1 c. warm milk
½ t. salt
Beef picadillo filling:
1 lb. ground beef
1 white onion, diced, about 1 c.
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 c. butter
2 T. smoked paprika
2 T. chili powder
1 T. finely chopped fresh oregano
½ T. ground cumin
1 bunch green onions, finely chopped
1-2 hard boiled eggs, chopped
¼ c. sliced olives
Salt and pepper to taste
1 egg, white and yolk separated and lightly whisked

 Dough:
Mix the flour and salt in a food processor, pulse until well combined. Add the 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 round cookie cutters or a small bowl). Use the empanada discs immediately or store in the refrigerator or freezer until ready to use.

Beef picadillo filling and empanada assembly:
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 sauté pan, add the onions, garlic and salt, cook until the onions are soft, about 8 minutes, stirring often. Add the meat mixture to the onions and cook on medium heat until the meat is done, stir frequently. Let the meat mixture or picadillo cool down, and then mix in the chopped green onions, chopped oregano, olives and egg.

To assemble the empanadas add a spoonful of the meat mixture on the center of each empanada disc, add a slice of egg and sliced olive. Brush the edges of the empanada discs with the egg whites, you can also use water but the egg white is a good natural “glue” that helps seal the empanada.

Fold the empanada discs and seal the edges gently with your fingers, twist and fold the edges of the empanadas with your fingers, as a final step use a fork to press down and finish sealing the empanadas.
Lightly brush the top of the empanadas with the egg yolk; this will give them a nice golden glow when they bake. Let the empanadas rest in the fridge for about 30 minutes or until ready to bake. Preheat the oven to 400° and bake for about 25 minutes.

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