Sunday, March 1, 2009
I made these empanadas last weekend for Max's birthday party...the adult portion of the party. I loved the way they came out! I have tried several recipes in the past, for catering gigs & this one is definitely the best so far. I found it on the Cooks Illustrated website. It should make about 3-4 dozen mini empanadas.
It is time consuming, but can be done over the course of a few days. The finished empanadas freeze very well.
I decided to make them again here, so that I could have them in the freezer for the Bozos.
Start by making the pastry.
I used a food processor, but you can use a pastry blender if you don't have one.
Put 3 3/4 cups flour in the bowl of the processor.
Add 1 tablespoon of sugar,
and 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt.
Pulse several times to combine.
Cut 1 1/2 sticks of ice cold, unsalted butter into chunks.
Get some ice water ready & have an empty measuring cup handy.
Scatter the butter over the flour mixture,
and pulse until the butter chunks are no larger than the size of a pea.
Dump the mixture out into a bowl,
and sprinkle on some ice water, a 1/4 cup at a time.
Between additions, use a spatula to press the mixture together, until a soft dough forms. You may need up to 1 1/4 cups water. But, it may take less. Continue adding & mixing until there is no more flour in the bottom of the bowl.
Separate the dough into two balls,
wrap them in plastic wrap & flatten them into discs. Chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours, or up to 2 days.
Next, make the filling.
Finely chop one medium onion & set aside.
Mince 2 cloves of garlic & place in a small bowl.
Add 1 tablespoon of tomato paste,
1 teaspoon minced fresh oregano leaves, or 1/4 teaspoon dried,
1 teaspoon of ground cumin,
a pinch of cayenne pepper,
and a pinch of ground cloves. Set aside.
Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet, over medium high heat.
Add the onions & saute for about 6 minutes, or until soft & translucent.
Add the garlic mixture & saute an additional minute.
Next, add 1/2 lb. of 85% lean ground beef,
and cook until cooked through.
Then, add 3/4 cup of low-sodium beef broth.
Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer until all the liquid is cooked off.
It should be moist, but not runny.
Remove from heat & add 1 teaspoon of sugar & mix to combine.
Taste & season with salt & pepper as needed.
Put the filling in a bowl & cool to room temperature.
Once cool, measure 2 ounces of shredded Monterey Jack cheese,
and mix into the filling. Cover with plastic wrap & chill until completely cooled, or up to 3 days.
Next, is the assembling of the empanadas...