Don't Try This at Home: Empanaditas

Don't Try This at Home: Empanaditas

I recently picked up a slightly chick-y book. Please forgive me.

Apart from cocktails recipes, Cocktail Parties, Straight Up! Easy Hors D’oeuvres, Delicious Drinks, and Inspired Ideas for Entertaining with Style has great hostess tips, party themes and ice breakers, and hors d’oeuvres recipes.

When I saw this recipe for mini empanadas, I knew I had to have this book.

beef empanadas by julesstonesoup

A Great Excuse for a Party

Last week’s party was actually inspired by this one recipe.

For the first birthday of this blog, I had a passport party with dishes from around the world. A great conceit for a party, but really an excuse to try these empanaditas.

Not to insult the authors of this book, but what a disappointment.

Definitely Not a 30 Minute Dish

Now, I can’t really fault them for that. But this book is written for busy professionals. And these empanaditas took almost three hours from start to finish.

Three hours. Dios mio!!

Weekend project? Perhaps. But not something that would ever be doable after work.

And the worst part? The recipe was totally wrong on the cooking times of . . . well, most everything. The chorizo for the filling, and the empanaditas themselves.

un-baked empanadas by Julesstonesoup

Don’t Get Me Wrong . . .

They tasted good. With some alterations. But I have some more substitutions to make things even tastier and faster.

And I have learned a valuable lesson: never make lots of round, filled, folded hors d’oeuvres with wonton wrappers again.

(Unless someone is paying me to do it.)

Empanadas with Chorizo and Red Peppers

Prep time: 30 minutes
Serves: 8

Ingredients

  • one package of chorizo sausage (12 oz)*
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 2 medium sized onion
  • 1 package puff pastry sheets or Goya empanada dough
  • one egg (white only)
  • olive oil

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 375.
  2. Heat three tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet or pan over medium heat.
  3. Roughly dice the onions and peppers and add to the skillet, stirring occasionally.
  4. Cut open the casing on the chorizo and scoop out the sausage.
  5. Using a pastry or large cookie cutter** cut the puff pastry*** into eight roughly six inch diameter circles.
  6. Once the onions and peppers have softened and begun to brown (about five minutes) add the chorizo.
  7. Continue stirring until the chorizo has cooked through and browned slightly (about five minutes).
  8. Distribute the chorizo filling evenly between the eight pastry circles.
  9. Using a pastry brush, brush the outer edges of the pastry circles with egg white and fold them in half. Use a fork the press the edges together all the way around the curved part of the empanadas.
  10. Place the empanadas on a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  11. Brush the tops of the empanadas with egg white and poke vent holes in the middle of each empanada with you fork.
  12. Bake until golden brown and puffy, about 12-15 minutes (depending on your oven).

Note*: For vegetarian empanadas, substitute the chorizo with the filling from these scrumptious zucchini black bean quesadillas.
Note**: If you don’t have a pastry cutter, place a round plate over the dough and use a knife to cut around its outline. Do not try to use a glass bowl as a substitute; it will shatter. (I know this from experience)
Note***: Make sure the puff pastry comes from the fridge. If you are keeping it in the freezer, transfer it to the fridge 12 to 24 hours before you plan to use it. (a.k.a. Make sure you don’t buy the pastry dough the same day you are planning on cooking.)

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