What to make for a baking Dim Sum Sunday? I generally don't make a lot of sweet bakery things because 1) I'm not good at resisting the temptation to eat whatever I make all by myself and 2) I'm more of a savory sort of gal. So I thought about what would be fun but would also be something quick and easy to make for lunch during the work week. Empanadas immediately came to mind.
An empanada is simply a pastry dough disk wrapped around a meat filling. Their origin is Spanish and Portuguese in nature but many countries have their versions. The recipe I used today was from the blog From Argentine With Love. There's even an adorable video of the author perfecting the rolled crimp method and the enthusiastic cook complimenting her work. Yours truly failed miserably at the rolled crimp and resorted to the decorative scallop edge. Now many of the recipes out in the internet ether mention using the Goya frozen empanada disks. If you can find them they are a quick fix but nothing beats making your own dough and producing that lovely flaky shell. Unfortunately I could not find the dough recipe referenced in the posting so I resorted to Epicurious's empanadas dough recipe. It turned out perfectly. The great thing about this dish is it's versatility. Ground meat is a wonderful canvas to play out your favorite flavors. Cumin, paprika, garlic and oregano for ground beef work well together. Because I started with an original recipe, green olives and a hard boiled egg were added. I also added some golden raisins even though this particular recipe did not call for it but had from previous experience enjoyed them in other empanadas. But you could also do so much with other ground meats. I could easily see a ground turkey with sage, dried cranberries and toasted pecans. You're only limited by your imagination.
Now I did have one regret. After I had put together all my empanadas and baked them I remembered I had some hot and spicy pickled quail eggs in the fridge. (what? doesn't everybody?) Little slices from those little gems would have powered up the flavor factor quite a bit. Ah well, next time. The bonus about these empanadas? The wonderful smell that will happen when I warm these babies up at work this week. Sorry co-workers, they're all mine.