If there is one food I have come to enjoy since moving to Chile, it’s empanadas. I love them. I could eat them all day. You find them filled with a variety of meats, veggies and cheeses. They are perfect for eating on the go, and can be made super small or fairly large.
Since it was a lazy Sunday, and we had mushrooms we needed to use, we decided to make some tasty little pockets of love!
My favorite filling is caramelized onion, mushroom and cheese. We also had some pino left over from another lunch and decided to use that as well. And for dessert we made some slightly larger apple cinnamon hand pies.
The dough recipe is a great one from Jamie Oliver. This is an easy recipe that is great for anything that you might want a nice, light yeasty crust for. I am lucky enough to have a bread machine. And because I am totally lazy and hate kneading dough, my husband made the dough in the bread machine on the pasta setting.
Once the dough is mixed and rising I started making my filling. You really can fill them with whatever you like. Traditionally, pino is the most popular, and my husband’s favorite, with tender beef, onions, raisins, a hard boiled egg and an olive. I’m not much of a meat eater, so I chose mushroom, onion and cheese.
I sliced 2 medium yellow onions and 2 boxes of Crimini mushrooms and sauteed it up in some olive oil.The cheese is up to you. Just make sure it melts nicely. I chose something similar to Jack. This also would be wonderful with some goat cheese.
First thing you want to do is set up all your filling in an organized assembly line.
Then roll out your dough and cut it into rounds. This time we chose to do minis and used a 3 inch biscuit cutter.
Next, place your filing in the center of your round. Be careful not to over fill them. If you try to stuff too much yummy into the round you will tear the dough when you fold it over to seal it. Trust me. I’ve my fair share of mangled attempts. For the minis, I used a heaping teaspoon of filling.
Then, fold your round over and crimp the edges so the goodness stays inside.There are many ways to seal the edges. I like to twist the edges like a pie, starting at the outside corners, press the edges firmly and then pleat them in towards the center folding up. Other methods are using a fork to crimp the seams or making them like a ravioli and using a pastry wheel to remove the extra dough. Get creative. This is your chance to make them purdy. Also, if you are having a hard time sealing the empanada, you could try using a little water around the edges before you crimp them closed.
Usually, at this point you would beat an egg with a little water and egg wash the tops. The wash helps them to get nice and golden. But, since we already established that I tend to be lazy, we didn’t. I was really hungry, and just couldn’t wait.
So, all that’s left is to pop them on a floured baking sheet and bake them till they are golden and browned. My oven is really wonky and after almost 6 months I still have a very difficult time baking in it. I had it on MED (~375°F) for 15 minutes or so. Ovens here don’t have temp settings so I have a stand alone thermometer in the oven. Remember that the filling is already cooked. So, all you need to do is cook the dough, and melt your cheese.