April 8th is National Empanada Day!! I have no idea who comes up with these national food days, but I’ll celebrate!!
Empanadas are Latin American or Spanish pastries. They are typically filled with ground meat and/or vegetables or fruit. They can be savory or sweet, baked or fried. I came up with 4 empanada recipes and 3 sauces that you can dip them in. I really only “came up with” 2 sauces as the marinara sauce on the left is from a jar…shhh ( ;
Supreme Pizza Empanadas, paired with marinara sauce – these empanadas have all your pizza favorites: peppers, onions, pepperoni, mushrooms, garlic and mozzarella cheese.
Spanish Beef Empanadas, paired with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce – these are inspired from a burger recipe I won a contest with, La Taverna Tapas Burger. They have ground beef, olives, garlic, roasted peppers and a touch of smoked paprika.
Very Veggie Empanadas, paired with Gruyere Cheese Sauce – these are vegetarian empanadas filled with spinach, mushrooms and roasted peppers.
Spinach, Mushroom & Bacon Empanadas, also paired with Gruyere Cheese Sauce – these are a new version of an empanada recipe I had created a while ago. They have spinach, crimini mushrooms, bacon and a touch of marsala wine.
To keep this post from being miles long, I’m going to post how to make the dough and the ingredients for all the fillings and sauces. For the complete recipes just click on the “Printable Recipe” links toward the bottom of the post.
Pulse together flour, sugar, salt, butter and shortening in your food processor. Drizzle in an egg yolk beaten with water. Pulse until a ball forms. Knead the ball a few times on a floured surface, form into a disk, wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.
Shortcut: If you’re short on time…use pre-made refrigerated piecrust. You can also check the Latin section of the frozen foods case at your grocer. I have seen frozen empanada wrappers.
While your dough chills, pick a filling and a sauce to make.
Supreme Pizza Empanadas Filling
Saute onion, mushrooms, pepperoni, garlic, roasted peppers. Allow to cool, then stir in mozzarella cheese.
Spanish Beef Empanadas Filling
Saute lean ground beef, onions, garlic, roasted red peppers and stir in halved Manzanilla pimiento stuffed olives.
Very Veggie Empanadas Filling
Saute onions, garlic, mushrooms, spinach and roasted red peppers. Stir in some parmesan cheese.
Spinach, Mushroom & Bacon Empanadas Filling
Saute thick cut bacon, onion, garlic, mushrooms, spinach, then add a little marsala wine. Finish with some parmesan cheese.
Gruyere Cheese Sauce
Make a roux with butter and flour. Add dry mustard, salt and white pepper. Stir in milk. Whisk until thickened. Add shredded Gruyere cheese and stir until melted.
Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
Blend cream cheese are roasted red peppers in a food processor. Add salt, garlic and smoked paprika. Process until smooth.
Portion & Roll Dough
Cut your chilled dough in half. Roll each half into a cylinder. Cut each cylinder into 6 equal pieces. Roll the 12 pieces into balls and flatten slightly with your hand.
Fill & Form Your Empanadas
Roll each flattened ball into a 6-inch round. Fill with about 3 tablespoons filling. Fold over and pinch closed to form semi-circular shape. Press a fork around the edge to help seal and trim around the edge with a pizza wheel. Place on parchment lined baking sheet (I baked mine on an ungreased pan, but some of mine stuck from the egg wash – so I recommend lining the pan with parchment.) Brush with an egg wash and bake for 15-19 minutes or until golden browned.