Monday, June 15, 2009

Awesome Empanadas

I am a crazed woman this week (and last, as you can tell from my stunted little blog) and don't have much time to write. I'll spare you the whiny details and leave you more time to make these awesome empanadas. The dough is really pretty darn good. It's a rare thing, but even I won't change anything the next time I make them. The filling is super tasty, but go ahead and use anything you like...mushrooms and cheddar, chicken and green olives...whatever is in the fridge. Oh, and you can freeze these bad boys! Make and bake 'em, wrap well and freeze. When you have a hankering, heat your gratifying little treats straight out of the ice box for 12-15 minutes at 350. Nice!

Empanadas with Sausage, Kale, Pine Nuts and Raisins


2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 t. salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes (I like to cut butter into cubes and put it into the freezer while I get the rest of my ingredients together.)
2 eggs
1/3 cup ice water
1 T distilled white vinegar

  • Add flour and salt to bowl of food processor and pulse once. Add cold butter and pulse 4 times. Lightly whisk together the eggs, water and vinegar, add to processor and pulse 3-5 times or until the dough just comes together.
  • If you don't have a food processor, combine flour and salt in a large bowl and blend the butter in with your fingertips until mixture resembles coarse meal with some (roughly pea-size) butter lumps. Lightly whisk together the eggs, water and vinegar, add to bowl and stir with a fork until the dough just comes together.
  • Put the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently with the heel of your hand once or twice, just enough to bring dough together. Form dough into a flat rectangle and chill, wrapped in plastic wrap, for at least 1 hour.


1 onion, diced
1 T olive oil
1/4 cup pine nuts, coarsely chopped
1/8 cup dark raisins, covered with boiling water until plump, 10 minutes, drained and coarsely chopped
1 cup kale, stemmed, coarsely chopped and rinsed well (no need to dry)
1 lb. sausage, removed from casings. Alternatively, use ground pork and add a few cloves of minced garlic when you add kale to the onions.
  • Heat oil in a medium saute pan over medium low heat. Add onions and cook until soft, 12 minutes. Turn up the heat to medium high, add pine nuts and cook until onions are caramelized, 10 minutes, adding tablespoonfuls of water as needed so the onions don't burn.
  • Add wet kale (and garlic, if using) and cook for a minute or two. Incorporate raisins and spoon mixture into a work bowl; set aside.
  • Heat the same saute pan over medium heat, add sausage and cook, using the back of a fork to break it up (should resemble ground meat), until it is no longer pink. Drain all but 1 T grease.
  • Add the onion mixture to the sausage and cool slightly. The filling can be prepared in advance and stored in the refrigerator. Remove from fridge 20 minutes before filling empanadas.

Fill and bake empanadas

1 egg
1 T water
flour for rolling dough
  • Preheat oven to 400 and lightly oil a baking sheet.
  • Lightly whisk together egg and water
  • Divide dough into 12 equal pieces and form each one into a ball.
  • Roll out each piece (keeping remaining pieces covered) on a lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin into a 5-inch round (about 1/8 inch thick).
  • Spoon 2 generous tablespoonfuls of the filling onto the center of each rolled piece and fold dough in half to enclose filling. Press edges together to seal and crimp with the tines of a fork or your fingers. Brush lightly with egg wash.
  • Transfer empanadas to baking sheet and bake until golden, about 25 minutes. Transfer empanadas to a rack to cool for at least 5 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.
  • Enjoy!

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