Top | Joan Menefee
(recipe, Joan Menefee)
The following is simply the empanada dough recipe from the [/content/2996 "Joy of Cooking"] with 2 tablespoons of rosemary added to the dry ingredients — and an improvised filling.
I don’t feel the need to roll the dough out systematically. Instead, I pinch off a small ball (approximately 1 1/2 inches in diameter), flatten it on a baking sheet, and fill and bake the hand-pies according to my whim.
Alternatively, you could roll and fill an entire batch, then stick the filled pies in the freezer to bake off in small batches.
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 Tbsp. fresh chopped rosemary
- 1½ tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. salt
- 10 Tbsp. (1¼ sticks) cold, unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- ½ cup lard or solid vegetable shortening (I use shortening), cut into small pieces
- 11 to 13 Tbsp. water
- 1 Tbsp. butter
- One medium onion, diced
- 2 cups mushrooms, cleaned and sliced (I used chanterelles)
- Salt and pepper
- 1 tsp. chopped fresh savory (optional)
- 2 medium potatoes, diced, boiled, and cooled
- Make the dough: Place the flour, rosemary, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl or food processor, and mix with a fork or pulse until combined. Cut the butter and shortening into the flour mixture, using a pastry blender (or old-fashioned cutter, as I did) until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs (about pea-size).
- If using a food processor, transfer the mixture into a large bowl. Drizzle water over top and mix gently with a fork until the flour mixture is damp enough to form into a ball. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least one hour. While the dough is resting, make the filling.
- Make the filling: Heat the butter in a medium-hot skillet. Add the onion and savory (if using) and cook until the onion is translucent, about 2 or 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms, salt, and pepper, and fry until the mushrooms are soft, about 3 to 5 minutes. Try not to move the mushrooms too much in order to achieve caramelization. Add the potatoes to warm them. (Because the dough is high in fat, I have added few fats to the filling. To enrich the flavor, consider adding cream to the mushroom filling and simmering it until some liquid has evaporated.) Let the filling cool.
- Make the empanadas: Shape the empanadas by making rounds (the size doesn’t really matter unless you’re unwilling to check inside the oven while the pies are baking; I pinch off a knob about the size of a egg). Place the filling in the center of a round — use a few spoonfuls of filling, not so much that you can’t seal the pastry. The Joy of Cooking calls for an egg-and-milk wash, but I tend to skip this step.
- Bake at 400 degrees until golden brown (check after 20 minutes).