It’s been a while since we’ve had the time to do our state dinners. For other Monday Meals, we’ve just been using what we have had in the garden, which includes a multitude of tomatoes, cucumbers, beets, and turnips. But finally we got to Arizona and we made empanadas.
These are basically little meat pies. The filling seems to be pretty much identical to what I use when I make chimichangas, only the chimichangas are wrapped in tortillas while the empanadas are wrapped in pie crust.
We liked these little things. We had about twenty of them, along with lots of sides, and six of us at all but two of the empanadas. Still, if I’m going to make the filling, I would probably make chimichangas instead because then I wouldn’t have to make the pie crust (I use purchased tortillas) and I don’t have to heat the oven (chimichangas are pan-fried.)
The recipe comes from the Better Homes & Gardens Heritage of America cookbook.
1 cup chopped cooked beef or pork (I used about a pound of ground venison)
1/4 cup chopped green chilies (I used one of those little cans. I think they are about 6 ounces)
2 Tbsp raisins
1 Tbsp finely chopped onion (I probably had more than that)
1 tsp garlic salt (I substituted about a tsp of minced garlic and a little bit of salt)
1/8 tsp cumin (I had whole cumin instead of ground, so I used more than 1/8 tsp)
1/8 tsp ground red pepper (I had red pepper flakes)
Pastry for double crust pie
Salsa and sour cream
For filling, in a mixing bowl combine the meat, chilies, raisins, onion, garlic salt, cumin, and red pepper. (I actually cooked all this together for a while after the meat was browned. I wanted to onions to soften a bit and for all the flavors to combine.)
Roll out pastry and cut into circles with a 3 1/2 inch round cutter. (This makes small empanadas, so if you want them bigger, use a bigger cutter.) Place about 1 Tbsp filling on each circle. Moisten edges with water (I didn’t); fold each circle of dough in half, pressing edges with a fork to seal. Prick once or twice with fork to allow steam to escape.
Place on baking sheets. (I didn’t grease the pans, but it probably would be good to do so because the pastry stuck to the pans.) Brush with milk. (I did this, but I don’t know why the recipe said to. Stephan said it was probably to aid in browning, but we think using an egg wash (beaten egg thinned with water) would have worked better.) Bake in a 400 degree oven for about 15 minutes or until golden. Serve warm. If desired, top with salsa and sour cream.