I love empanadas!!! Savory with a slightly sweet and spicy tone, they simply can't be beat.
This recipe is quite labor intensive because there are a lot of steps involved, but the efforts are worth the end result!
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup vegetable shortening, softened
- 2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 3/4 cup ice water
- 1/2 pound ground turkey (lean ground beef can be used if desired)
- 1/2 medium onion
- 1/2 teaspoon jarred garlic
- 3 roma tomatoes
- 1 serrano pepper (if you like spicy, add another pepper)
- juice of 1 limes (I used the juice you can buy in the lime shaped squeeze bottle; you can find it in the produce section)
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
In a large bowl, mix together the flour, shortening, butter, and salt gently with your fingers until small pea to grape sized pieces are formed. Be sure not to over-mix.
Slowly stir in the water. As to not over-mix, I used a rubber spatula to carefully fold in the water.
Lightly knead the dough with a folding motion only for a minute or until the dough forms a ball; again I used the spatula. Add a little bit more water if dough looks too dry.
Cover dough with a kitchen towel, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
While the dough is resting, prepare the filling.
Steps for Filling:
In a large skillet, brown the ground turkey (or beef) over medium heat.
In a blender, puree the tomatoes.
Cut the onion into large chunks.
Add the chunks of onion, and puree.
Cut the pepper length wise and remove the seeds (unless you would like it to be spicier, the heat of the pepper is in the seeds.)
Add the pepper, and the lime juice to the blender and puree.
Add the cumin, cinnamon, cloves, salt, and pepper to the puree mixture.
If using beef, drain the excess fat. This is an advantage to using ground turkey; no fat to drain!
Add the puree mixture to the browned turkey, and mix well. Turn the heat to high, and simmer until excess moisture has cooked off.
Steps for putting the empanadas together:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
With your chilled dough, split the ball in half.
Lightly flour your work space.
Roll out the dough to 1/8" thick.
Cut the dough using a 5" circular cookie cutter, biscuit cutter, or bowl.
Fill the center with 1 1/2 teaspoons of filling.
Fold over and crimp edges.
Arrange the unbaked empanadas on a greased cookie sheet.
Glaze the empanadas with a mixture of 2 tablespoons milk and a beaten egg.
Bake the empanadas for 15-20 minutes or until slightly browned.
These are absolutely delicious and satisfying all by them selves, or pair them with a bowl of mexican chili.