Meat Empanada

Empanada is a favorite Filipino snack of fried filled pastry or turnover. But for a healthier version, I like to bake them.

You can be creative with the filling, use any kind of meat you desire. I used chicken this time.

For the filling:

  • 1 lb ground meat
  • 2 T canola oil
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 C finely chopped onion
  • 1 C diced potatoes or carrots
  • 1 C sausage, chopped
  • 1 C raisins
  • 1/2  C green peas
  • 1 small can of button mushroom
  • 1/2  C sliced green olives
  • 1 t sea salt
  • 1 T Worcestershire sauce

Cook the filling and cool before filling the empanadas.

  • Fry the diced potato in the oil. Drain and set aside
  • Saute the garlic, onion, meat and sausage. Season with salt and pepper and Worcestershire sauce
  • Add the rest of the ingredients and continue cooking.
  • Adjust seasoning according to taste.

Pastry dough:

  • 3 C all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 t baking powder
  • 1 t sea salt
  • 1 T sugar
  • 1 c shortening. The amount of shortening dictates the flakiness of the empanada crust, it can be adjusted down to 1/2 c to 3/4 c  to make a firmer crust.
  • 1/2 C to 3/4 C cold water

Prepare the pastry.

  • Sift all the dry ingredients in a bowl.
  • Cut the shortening into the flour until pea size
  • Add the water little by little until the flour is moistened
  • Knead the dough until smooth.
  • Alternatively, use a food processor and pulse until the dough is smooth and forms a ball.
  • Take the dough and form a ball.
  • Flatten into a floured surface using a rolling-pin.
  • Roll
  • Cut into 1 1/2 inches pieces
  • Roll out each piece in to form a circle, fill with about 3 T filling. Add a slice of hard-boiled egg if desired.
  • Wet the edges of the dough with water, fold half over and using the tines of a fork, seal the edges.
  • Makes 18-20 pieces.

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.

  • Place the completed empanadas in a baking sheet and bake until brown, about 20 minutes.

Enjoy it with a drop or two of Tabasco sauce. Yummy!

By the way, you will probably have leftover filling, in which case you can use it to make  Stuffed Eggplant or simply make more empanada dough.

Here’s a twist that is fun to do. Add 2 t of any spice to the flour to complement the flavor of the filling. For instance, if the filling has a curry flavor, add curry powder to the flour. Or add dried herbs like oregano or basil.

I think cooking is an art and the cook is the artist. So don’t adhere to exact ingredients so much.

Just have fun in the kitchen!

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