Taking an almost non-bread side track this time. Empanadas are a little stuffed pastry. In this case the filling consisted of: Chorizo, onions, black olives, egg and cheese. I’ve never done a pastry dough before, so I opted for a simple dough recipe.
Pastry dough formula is courtesy of Alton Brown, which accompanies an excellent episode on Pocket Pies. He demonstrates all different things you can do with the same simple pastry dough. Even toaster pastries if you are so inclined. Excellent stuff.
The filling is based loosely on this one. By loosely, I mean almost not at all.
Mine is as follows:
- 1lb of Chorizo
- 4 hard boiled eggs, diced
- 1 can of olives, sliced, diced, whatever
- 2-3 cloves of garlic minced
- 1 large onion
- Chili powder
- Grated cheese
You will notice a conspicuous lack of measurements in my ingredients. This is intentional. Chorizo already has a lot of spices in it so I didn’t want to over power the dish with all kinds of spices. I ended up using 1tsp of freshly ground cumin, and coriander with a bit of hot chili powder to add just a bit of kick. I forgot to add the parsley, not that the dish needed the flavor, but it would have benefited from the extra color.
Once you have everything made, it is time to assemble. One trick I’d suggest is stashing the rolled out rounds of dough in the refrigerator to cool them down. This makes them firm and easier to work with when it comes to filling time. Speaking of filling:
The key here is, less is more. Only a small amount of filling is needed. About a tablespoon. Top with a bit of cheese, wet half of the dough’s edge with an egg and water mixture and fold over.
I gently press out all the air. We aren’t trying to seal the pastry at this time, just get it into shape. Finally take a fork and gentry press the tines of the fork into the pastry using a rolling motion, working around the edge of the pastry. This actually takes a bit of time, and can be a bit tedious when you have 20 of these things to make.
Stick on a pan, and bake.
In short order you will have a bunch of small, golden brown and delicious, empanadas. You can stash the baked pastries in the refrigerator for a week, but mine didn’t last that long. With egg, meat, and cheese these are perfect for breakfast, lunch AND dinner. You could also freeze these and deploy them as needed.
I was super pleased with the results. Filling was tasty, even thought I forgot the parsley, and the pastry was decent. I still need to work on my pastry dough, I thought it was a little tough and not flaky enough. However for a first attempt; it wasn’t a disaster so I’m happy. As an option you could deep fry these. While that would add some calories, I think deep frying might actually make them more flavorful. Pan frying is also an option.