Thursday, September 16, 2010

Beef Empanadas

Another yummy recipe from the Mad Hungry cookbook.  Seriously, go and buy it today.  You'll thank your self later.

This recipe was really pretty easy, but much more time consuming than I normally would go for on a week night.  But, since my husband is a work-a-holic and we've been eating dinner an hour later than normal, I had the time.

Anyway - for the first time, it took me two hours from start to finished and on the table.  Was it worth it?  Oh yes.  So worth it that I might make them again next week - but actually figure out how to make a side dish, too.  Not that these babies need anything else.

First, you need to make the pastry.  At a minimum, the pastry needs to chill for thirty minutes.  Mine chilled for about 8 hours and then needed to sit on the counter for a good 15-30 before it was ready to roll out.

Cream Cheese Pastry
8 tbsp unsalted butter at room temp
4 oz cream cheese at room temp
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 and 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp flour
1/2 tsp salt

cream the butter, cheese, and cream with an electric mixer.  Add the flour and salt until incorporated.  Split the dough into two equal sections, form into two disks and wrap each one separately in plastic wrap.  Place dough in the fridge.

Beef filling
1 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, chopped fine
1 small green pepper, chopped fine
1 lb ground beef
1 tsp ground cumin
3/4 cup olives, chopped (green or black)
3/4 cup raisins (I didn't use these)
1 tsp honey
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
dashes of hot sauce to taste
2 eggs, separated

Chop the onion and the green pepper and start to saute them in a very hot pan, in the olive oil.  When the onions are starting to get translucent, add the beef.  When the beef is almost 100 % cooked, add the olives and raisins (if you like), the honey, the cumin (I didn't have cumin so I just used a whole butt load of different seasoning salts), the honey, salt, pepper,  and hot sauce.  Let cook until the beef is completely finished and turn off the heat.

The beef needs to cool completely in the fridge.  After it has cooled completely, stir in the egg whites from your two eggs.

While the beef is cooking, get out your cream cheese pastry so it can warm up a bit.  Once the beef is in the fridge to cool, it's time to roll out the dough.

Work with one disk at a time and roll it out like you would for sugar cookies.  Make sure you have a clean, well floured work surface and a good rolling pin.  Roll the dough pretty thin and then use a medium bowl (about 5 inches across) as your dough cutter.  Place the bowl on the dough and with a knife, cut around the edges.  Repeat the process, only re-rolling each piece of dough once.

If you do it right, you should end up with 10-12 circles of dough.

To assemble the empanadas, place a couple small spoonfuls of meat filling onto one half of a dough circle.  Wet the outer edge of dough with some water and fold it over, pressing each edge together gently.  Then with a fork, crimp the edges together.  Do this for all of your dough circles, making little half moon pies.

Once all are finished, place them on a cookie sheet and stick them back in the fridge while the oven heats up to 375 degrees.

Once the oven is hot, take the empanadas out of the fridge and poke some holes in them with a fork.  Then, take the two egg yolks, mix them with 1 tbsp of water and give each empanada a quick egg wash.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown.

Let them rest for about 7 minutes before you devour them.  They will still be super dooper hot.

So yummy, so yummy.


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