Tasty turnovers

13 Feb

I love empanadas. I have purchased them at farmers’ markets, restaurants and grocery stores. I’ve tried numerous recipes. And I have yet to find one that meets all my demands – a savory crust with a tangy and spicy filling with just the right amount of zing! Many of the recipes I’ve tried deserve a B+ for effort like the one I’m sharing here from m Sunset Hors d’oeuvres (1979). It sounded promising and I was intrigued that it called for a puff pastry crust – and the empanadas are baked, not fried. These are appetizer size and freeze and reheat well. And they are tasty little morsels…. but I’m still determined to find the perfect recipe. Stay tuned.

Empanadillas (aka Empanadas)

Thaw one package of frozen puff pastry dough. Roll out each sheet to a 1/16 to ⅛-inch thickness. With a cookie cutter or empty tuna can (both ends removed), cut dough into 3½-inch rounds. Place a slightly rounded teaspoon of filling (recipe follows) on each round; fold in half, moisten edges with water, and press together with a fork to seal. Reroll pastry scraps and repeat filling procedure.

Place turnovers 1-inch apart on ungreased baking sheet. Prick tops with a fork and bake, uncovered in a 400 degree oven for 7 to 8 minutes. Makes about 2 dozen turnovers.

Filling: Brown ½ pound lean ground beef in a frying pan over medium heat. Add ¼ cup minced onion and cook until the onion is limp; discard fat. Stir in 3 tablespoons each raisins, chopped ripe olives, and tomato-based chile sauce; 1 teaspoon chile powder; ½ teaspoon each ground cumin, garlic salt and ground coriander; add salt and pepper to taste.

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