Patri of the blog Asi Son Los Cosas, was our September 2012 Daring Bakers’ hostess and she decided to tempt us with one of her family’s favorite recipes for Empanadas! We were given two dough recipes to choose from and were encouraged to fill our Empanadas as creatively as we wished.
I kind of dropped the ball on the "creative" part of this challenge, realizing that especially after seeing the other Daring Baker's photos! No sweat. These recipes are really tasty and easy to do- I made them both for dinner on a school night and had time to snap photos for the blog and relax before bed!
Our challenge required us to use at least one of Patri's dough recipes. I made 2. One was a bread flour yeast dough with paprika (I used smoked paprika) and I filled it with cream cheese, cheddar and spicy yellow peppers from the garden. These were made into little one-serving sized empanadas. I also made a corn flour yeast dough which I patted into a little cast iron pan and filled with chorizo and eggs (one of our favorite meals).
I was really surprised how flaky the bread flour crust was! It's like a combination of pie crust and pizza crust. It holds up well but is really, really tender. Yum! I'm on the fence when it comes to paprika, but I imagine this dough could be flavored in many delicious and creative ways. My sweet tooth is saying brown sugar with cherry pie filling at the moment!
We eat chorizo and eggs a lot, especially after a trip to West St. Paul where we stock up at El Burrito Mercado. I like a pound of spicy chorizo with maybe 4 or 5 eggs, which is a heavy-on-the-chorizo ratio. You could use more egg and less chorizo if it tends to upset your tummy or something.
You can't see anything but the spicy red meat in here, but it's in there! True, though, the chorizo permeates everything and is the star of the dish- along with the flaky corn crust!
The recipes I made are small batches to feed a family of 4 and I served mine with a simple salad of tomato, avocado, finely shredded lettuce and lime juice.
Jalapeno Popper Empanada
1 3/4 cups bread flour
1/2 cup warm water
1/4 cup oil
1/2 tablespoon dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
Mix well and knead for 5 to 10 minutes. Cover and rise 30 to 45 minutes. Break into 6 even sized balls, then roll out very thin into a circle.
Shredded cheddar cheese
Sliced spicy peppers (fresh or from a jar)
On each round of dough, spread 1 1/2 tablespoons of cream cheese, a handful of cheddar, and sliced peppers to taste. Fold in half, squeeze out the air and seal the edges by crimping tightly.
Brush with oil and add a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Bake at 350F 2 inches apart, on a sheet pan covered in parchment paper, for 30 minutes or until golden brown.
Chorizo and Egg Empanada
1 1/4 cups corn flour
1/2 cup bread flour
1/2 cup warm water
1 teaspoon dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup oil
Mix well. Cover and rise one hour. In a greased 6 inch oven proof skillet or baking pan, pat half of the dough in a thin layer all around the bottom and sides.
1 pound ground chorizo
1/2 cup diced zucchini
1/2 cup chopped green or white onion
4 or 5 large eggs
1 cup shredded cheddar
Brown chorizo, then cool for a bit while it drains in a mesh basket set over a bowl.
Add chorizo and about a half cup each of zucchini and onion. Pour 4 to 5 beaten eggs over this and spread about a cup of shredded cheddar over that.
Roll out remaining dough thinly between 2 sheets of parchment (you will not need all of the dough). If you can get it to cover your empanada in one piece, great! If not, make a patchwork of dough to cover the top. If it's all in one piece, seal the edges and make a couple of vent holes in the center of the top. If you've got a patchwork going, vent holes will not be needed.
Bake at 350F for 50 minutes or until the crust is dark golden brown on the edges. Cool 10 minutes and enjoy!