Empanada

3
As a working mom, I usually prepare and leave bites and nibbles in our home so anytime my husband and my son would be starving, warming the food up a little bit is the only thing they needed to do before a hearty meal.

I have known baking Empanadas since I was in grade school. My mom taught me how to bake them and she was also the one who introduced me to entrepreneurship by selling them to my classmates. I made a few earnings by these Empanadas and that got me interested with food and business.

Empanadas (Empanaditas – small one) are Latin American half-moons stuffed with meat or cheese or veggies filling baked in the oven to golden brown and crunchy. Some fry the Empanadas though and still create a tasty snack. Empanadas are also called meat turnover or meat pie or meat pastry turnover.

For empanada discs (crust):
* makes 12 – 15 medium discs or 6 – 8 large discs
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 egg yolk
1/2 cup butter, cold and cut into small pieces
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup water

For empanada filling:
1 tablespoon oil
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 medium onion, minced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
500 g (1 lb) chicken flakes or ground pork or ground beef
1 small red bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup potato, peeled and diced
1/4 cup carrot, peeled and diced
1/2 water
1/4 cup raisins
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 tbsp. brown sugar

For brushing:
Combine a well beaten egg and 2 tbsp. water.

To make the Empanada crust:
Mix flour and salt in a large bowl. Cut in the butter with a fork or cutter until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Whisk egg and water in a small bowl, then pour into the flour mixture. Stir with spatula until a soft dough forms. Make sure not to overwork – it should cohere into a ball but still crumbly. Take the mixture in a ball shape and set aside at room temperature about 1 hour. (This is the best time for you to prepare the filling) Lightly shower flour on a surface and roll out the dough into thin sheet. Cut out round into disc shape. Use the empanada discs immediately or place in the refrigerator or freezer until needed.

To make the Empanada filling:
In a medium fire, heat cooking oil and butter in a pan. Add garlic, sautee about a minute, then add onion, sautee again for another minute. Add meat. Sautee until meat turns light brown, then pour soy sauce and sugar. Add raisins, carrots and potatoes, cook for about 5 minutes, uncovered. Then, add water and simmer for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. stir frequently until aromatic. Cook until liquid evaporates. Set aside to cool.

2 copyTo make empanadas:
Position the rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

Place 1 tablespoon of the filling in the center of each Empanada disk. Wet your finger with a little water, then run it around the rim of one of the circles. Fold in half, making a half-moon; press the wet edges together to seal completely, even to the corners. Place on the prepared baking sheet and continue making the Empanadas, spacing them about 1 inch apart.

Brush surface of each folded Empanada with egg mixture.

Bake Empanadas for about 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Serve Empanadas warm with hot chocolate drink.

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