Empanadas (aka Hand Pies) Anyone?

I was perusing through the Internet looking for dinner options, while my naked stacks of eggplant/tomato and mozzarella sounded yummy, I was in the mood for something different. 

I ended up on a Puerto Rican recipe page and decided I would put my most recent TJMaxx purchase to good use. 

Baked, instead of fried, meat filled pastries to excite even the weary.  

I made the filling:

1lb ground beef 

A few tablespoons of sofrito

Chopped whole onion 

3 garlic cloves minced 

Half a handful of chopped cilantro 

1 green pepper diced 

Salt and pepper 

Onion and garlic powder to taste 

Olive oil

Two fresh chopped tomatoes 

A few tablespoons of tomato paste 

Sauté in olive oil the veggies 

Remove and set aside 

Sauté ground beef then add in the veggies and seasoning 

Drain it 

Let it cool …patience is a virtue when it comes to warm filling and buttery dough 

( You have to let it cool, just like my homemade egg roll filling or else it destroys the pastry/egg roll wrapper) 

The baked empanada dough:

3 cups flour

1.5 sticks of cold cut up unsalted butter

1 tsp salt 

1/4-1/2 cup of milk or water 

Chop the butter up in the flour and salt mixture then add milk until it’s sticky and mixed together 

Roll out with some extra flour and split into two balls 

Roll each ball of dough out thin and use your empanada cutter to cut out the circles

Place the dough in the empanada maker and fill with a spoonful of filling

Squeeze together the pastry 

And place on a foil lined and oil sprayed baking sheet 

Brush them with egg wash and bake

375 degrees and 23 minutes later 

Perfect… buttery.. crispy.. juicy…meaty middles…hand pies for all….

We ate them with steamed rice and cucumbers tossed in sour cream and balsamic vinegar and corn with butter, salt and chili powder…the perfect meal for all!

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