Empanadas!

July 10, 2013

Close to two years ago, during a stint where I missed the delicious empanadas of our hometown haunt, I went out and bought a food processor.  I had decided that I would make my OWN empanadas.  I’m not sure what happened, but somewhere in there, I changed my mind and the empanadas never happened.  Something about ingredients and dough and time consuming..yadda yadda yadda.

Or, it could have been that I was, in fact, secretly terrified of my new food processor.  I had never owned or operated a food processor prior to my “HEY LET’S BUY A FOOD PROCESSOR AND MAKE EMPANADAS!” idea.  Quite honestly, it was a little intimidating.

And so it sat, unopened, in my kitchen cabinet for about 2 years.  Until about a week ago when I decided, once again, that “babe, I should really make those empanadas”.  Maybe it’s something that happens to me in the summer with not teaching, but magically, new projects that were previously daunting take on new and exciting life.  The food processor no longer seemed like an intimidating challenge, but rather, an opportunity to master something new!  To say the least, I was pumped… and let me tell you, it may have taken 2 years, but they were WORTH IT. 

So, without further hesitation, here are my Shredded Pork Empanadas!

Dough Recipe from Cherry On My Sundae.  She has filling for her empanadas too, but I made my own.  USE her dough recipe though.  It was killer.  White wine- who knew?!

Dough
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp salt (I assume- the recipe says salt, but skips how much- I used a tbsp. It was fine.)
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and chilled
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 teaspoon white vinegar
In your food processor, combine 2 cups flour with 1 tbsp sugar and 1 tbsp salt.  Pulse 3-4 times.  Add in your chunks of cold butter, and pulse until your contents look like coarse sand.  (ahh, sand… makes me thinkg of the beach!  I feel like there should be seagulls.)  ANYWAY.  In a separate dish, wisk up your eggs with 1/4 cup of wine and the white vinegar.  I know, I know… you opened a whole bottle of wine for 1/4 cup??  Whatever will we do with the leftovers?  Might as well pour a glass while you’re mixing this dough.  Take your drunken egg mixture and add it into your food processor.  Mix until a sticky dough forms.  For real, I am not kidding, this dough is a stage 5 clinger.  Proceed with caution.  Scoop your dough out onto some plastic wrap, form it into a round blog as much as you can, cover with wrap, and stick into the fridge for an hour.  Hey, look- an hour… might as well have more of that wine.  Don’t want it to go to waste, after all!  At this point, I sat down for about 40 minutes and relaxed with my darling husband.  He had some of the wine too and proclaimed it suitable for the empanada dough.  (Good thing, since I already made the dough!)  

About 20 minutes before I took the dough out, I decided I should probably make the filling.  There are tons of options when it comes to fillings, but for these particular empanadas, we were in the mood for shredded pork.  I had made my crockpot shredded pork the day before, which made it nice and easy.  Another nice and easy protein- rotisserie chicken that you’ve picked off the bone and shredded a bit. 

Filling:
3 cups shredded pork
1 and 1/2 cups fresh salsa (store bought in the produce section)
3 to 5 tbsp taco sauce, depending on taste


Mix that all up and set it aside. Yeh, it was pretty easy.   I never claimed it would be elaborate or difficult.

20 minutes later…
Yay, the dough is ready!  Clear off some counter space and throw down some flour.  Unwrap your glorious dough.  Hell, better throw down a lot of flour.  Remember- still pretty sticky.  Throw a bit of flour on the top of the dough too.  I mean, really, can it hurt?  OH- and flour on your hands and rolling pin.  Then, roll out your dough until it’s about 1/8 of an inch thick.   I don’t generally keep a ruler in my kitchen, and I’m assuming you don’t either, so when it looks fairly thin, go for it.  I used the top of a mug to cut out my circles because I’m a classy lady, but if you happen to have a big biscuit cutter, you can use that.  If not, the mug worked pretty well!  Keep cutting out rounds until you need to reroll your dough.  I only rerolled twice because I didn’t want the dough to get too worked over. 

Then fill each round with a few spoonfuls of filling.  It kinda depends on the size of your circles, but cover about half of the circle and don’t mound it too high.  Remember, we have to seal these babies!  When you go to seal, fold the dough over top and then pick it up and pinch the edges with your fingers.  Finish them off by “crimping” them with the tines of a fork all the way around the outer edge.  (I’d flour the fork too… otherwise, it gets stuck and your crimping attempts become a battle.  Not that I know from experience or anything.  Awkward…)


Now you have 2 options.  You can fry them up for a few minutes each side in 1/2 inch of hot oil, or you can bake them.  I opted for baking them. 

When baking, place those puppies on a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray, and then spray the tops of them.  Pop them into a 350 degree oven for 30 to 35 minutes.

And that’s it!  I served mine with Tostitos Queso dip.  Normally, I’d make homeamde queso blanco, but I didn’t feel like going to the store to grab more ingredients.  Hey, sometimes you just gotta use what you got!


All in all, they turned out fantastic, and I no longer feel intimidated by the food processor.  Double Success!

Until next time, 

Happy eating!
J

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