My friend Mary shared her recipe with me for making Empanada's. I knew it was perfect from the minute I layed eyes on it. The dough recipe is absolutely perfect. I didn't have all the ingredients to make her Puerto Riccan flavored Empanada. I really wanted to give it a try and not wait. I had plenty of goodies from the garden and such that I went ahead and made an Italian Garden variety. It was so much fun to make and delicious too. Thank You Mary for your inspiration today. If you enjoy cooking as much as I do you will love making these.
I began by making the dough first. This recipe is for making 12 Empanada's.
3 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup oil (saffron, sunflower)
1 cup warm water
Herbs: I used a little Cinnamon Basil and Garlic Powder in my doughCombine all the dry ingredients and whisk it together in your mixing bowl. Place on the dough hook and add all the wet ingredients. Turn on 2nd speed for about 3 minutes or so until it is well combined and dough begins to pull away from the sides. Remove it and knead for an additional 3 minutes or so. I formed mine into a log as pictured above. I then divided it into 12 pieces.
I took off a couple sheets of wax paper at this point to lay my circles on after rolling each piece out into about a 4 to 5 inch circle. Cover with a top sheet of wax paper and set aside. Your now ready to begin the filling.
Ingredients for Filling
2 to 4 tbsp. Organic Olive Oil
1 medium onion
3 to 4 cloves of garlic minced
3 to 4 sweet banana peppers (1 bell pepper will work)
fresh mushrooms chopped
spinach (fresh or frozen)
Herbs from the garden: I used Oregano, Cinnamon Basil, Thyme and a pinch of Rosemary.
a bit of water
I always begin by heating my olive oil a bit and then adding the onion and garlic first. It seems to really boost the flavor in the oil. After they have sauteed a bit on medium to low heat, add your pepperoni and pepper, stir, then add your mushrooms and black olives. At this point I begin to add my herbs and spinach. I like to sprinkle the top of the spinach with a tad of salt and stir it in as it cooks down. Cover while you prepare the sauce. Take your tomato paste in a separate bowl and add a bit of warm water to it with a wire whisk. You only want to bring your paste to a thick sauce. Just remember there is liquid in the pan, so you don't want to thin it down to much. sprinkle just a tad of salt and sugar in your paste, then stir it into your mixture.
Now it is time to stuff your dough and pinch the sides closed. Go ahead and heat at least a cup or so of oil in your pan to deep fry. Use about 2 tbsp. of your filling in each circle. Don't over stuff or it will be hard to close and seal. Fry on medium heat about 5 minutes for each side or until a pretty golden brown. Place in a dish with paper towels, or in my case I used coffee filters to drain on. You may need to blot the tops a bit.
These are great for putting up in the freezer to save for later. Empanada or Calzone, not sure which this is, but they are delicious. The filling has endless possibilities and I so look forward to trying more things. I hope you enjoy them as much as we are.