Sunday, April 22, 2012

Chorizo Empanadas

I've been wanting to make empanadas for a while now, but unfortunately my cast put a bit of a kink in my empanada making plans. Fortunately, the upgrade to a splint has made empanada making a possibility. Even better, this dish was worth the wait and the effort. With a bit of patience and generous flour-dusting, the dough rolls out very nicely. If you have a variety of mixing bowl sizes, check yours to see if one will work as an empanada cutter.

Chorizo Empanadas (from The Homesick Texan Cookbook)

225g cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp vegetable oil
450g Mexican chorizo (removed from casing if bought)
1/2 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese (~55g)
1/4 cup pitted black olives, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 jalapeno chile, finely chopped
2 tbsp chopped cilantro
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1 large egg
2 tbsp milk
sesame seeds (optional)
salsa for dipping (optional)

1. Mix together cream cheese and butter until smooth.
2. Stir in flour and salt until a smooth dough is formed.
3. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, heat vegetable oil in large skillet on medium-low heat and cook chorizo until done, 7 - 10 minutes.
5. In bowl, mix together chorizo, MJ cheese, olives, garlic, jalapeno, cilantro, and cumin.
6. Preheat oven to 375F and grease a large baking sheet.
7. Roll dough out on a floured surface until 1/8" thick (I found this easier to do in batches). Cut into 5" rounds, gather scraps, and repeat until you have about 16 empanadas.
8. Place 2 tsp of filling in center of each dough circle and fold dough so it forms a half-moon. Crimp edges with a fork to seal.
9. In a small bowl, whisk together egg and milk.
10. Brush egg wash on empanadas. If using (I didn't), sprinkle with sesame seeds.
11. Bake for 25 minutes or until browned. Serve with salsa if desired.

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