Here’s an adaptation of a recipe I first made while studying at the Western
Culinary Institute in Portland, Oregon. I recently made them for a school
fundraiser that I catered. Other items on the menu included charcuterie and
crudite platters and a selection of cheeses.
Empanadas are stuffed breads or pastries, baked or fried in many countries in Latin America, Southern Europe and Southeast Asia. Fillings include meats, cheeses, vegetables, and fruits.
I like to make Colombian-style empanadas, filled with potatoes, peas, and spices.
Makes 6 cups of filling
Puff pastry, thawed (store-bought works well, I prefer the Dufour brand)
3 table spoons butter
1 large onion, small diced
3 tablespoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons cumin seed
4-6 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into small dice
1 teaspoon turmeric
½ cup petite green peas
1-2 teaspoons kosher salt (or more to taste)
1 egg (for egg wash)
Melt butter in a sauté pan. Add onions, and sauté until translucent. Add garlic and cumin, and sauté for another 30 seconds. Remove pan from heat.
In a separate pan, cover potatoes with cold water until submerged. Bring pan to a simmer, and cook until potatoes are al dente or tender (15-20 minutes).
In a bowl, combine onion and potato mixture with turmeric, peas, and salt. Season to taste.
Preheat the oven to 350° F. To assemble the empanadas, cut 3-inch rounds from the pastry (or squares, if you want to make triangular empanadas). Brush the edges of each circle of dough with egg wash, and place about 2 teaspoons of filling in the center. Fold the dough over the filling and press to seal. Brush the top of each pastry with egg wash.
Place pastries on a parchment-lined sheet pan and bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden (see photo, above).