When I read that yesterday was National Empanada Day, I had a craving so intense for the flaky, savory pastries that I went home and made some! While I enjoy the thick, Spanish pie-shaped empanada, I much prefer the mini, handheld Argentinean variation. They are bite-sized, fun to eat, and can be filled with just about anything.
Years ago I spent a month testing out empanada dough recipes until I found the perfect one. However, last night I didn't have two hours to let the dough rise, so I used puff pastry. These delectable empanadas are addictive, buttery, and downright delicious. The filling is a mixture of sautéed mushrooms, wilted chard, and cheese. It's an easy appetizer that makes a good vegetarian start to a Latin feast. Want the recipe? Read more.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large white onion, peeled and diced
1 pint mushrooms, chopped
2 bunches Swiss Chard, washed, ends trimmed, leaves cut in small pieces, stems cut in 1/2-inch dice
3/4 cup grated Parmesan
1/4 cup grated melting cheese (Asadero, Manchego, Panela, Jack)
1 egg beaten, for egg wash
1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste depending on the saltiness of the cheeses)
1/2 teaspoon freshly groung black pepper
1 sheet of puff pastry
flour for rolling
- To make filling: Heat olive oil in a frying pan and add diced onion, salt and pepper. Cook over moderate heat until onions are soft and begin to turn lightly golden. Add the mushrooms and continue to cook until mushrooms are soft, about five minutes.
- Add the chard in batches, wilting it down, and cook until tender, about 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Mix cooled cooked chard with grated cheeses and taste, adjust seasoning. Filling can be made one day in advance.
- To assemble empanadas: On a lightly floured board, roll the puff pastry out to 1/8 inch thickness and cut as many circles as possible with a 3 inch circular cookie cutter. Place 1 heaping teaspoon of filling onto half of circle of dough leaving a border and wet the edges of the dough with the egg wash, then fold the dough over to enclose the filling. Seal the edges by pressing the top to the bottom with the tines of a fork. Chill at least 30 minutes before baking.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place empanadas on a baking sheet and brush tops with egg wash and sprinkle with freshly cracked pepper.
- Bake 30 minutes or until dough is golden. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool slightly. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Makes 12-20 empanadas.
- Appetizers, Puff Pastry
- South American