This is adapted from the original Mad Hungry recipe. The key is to make the filling to your taste! Lucinda Scala is an amazing cook with lots of great recipes, well worth a look. See video to see her make the empanadas
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 small onion chopped
- 1 small green pepper chopped
- 500 grams ground beef
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 2 tsp cumin
- ¼ tsp chili flakes
- 1 tsp honey
- 1 tsp coarse salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- 2 large eggs separated – I omit
- 1-2 tbsp chipotle hot sauce
- 1 recipe cream cheese pastry
To make filling
- Saute onion and bell pepper in olive oil until translucent. On high heat, add ground beef and cook until brown. Stirring constantly for roughly 5 to 7 minutes. Then add cumin, smoked paprika and chili flakes and cook for another 1 min.
- Stir in honey, salt, pepper and hot sauce. Cook until meat is golden brown and all the liquid has evaporated. Cool the mixture completely in the fridge. Stir in egg whites
- Preheat oven to 180 C. Prepare baking sheet with baking paper
To form the empanadas
- Start by rolling out ½ cream cheese pastry on a flour surface. Using an overturned small bowl, about 10 cm, cut out circles. Roughly 4-5 circles , then gather up scraps together and reroll/cut circles again.
- Take one of the circles, place ¼ cup filling on one side of the dough circle. Wet the edge of the dough with water. Fold the dough over to form a half circle. Pinch edges of the dough together then crimp the edges with a fork. Repeat the process until all the filling is used.
- The empanadas can be frozen at this point if desired to cooked in the future.
- Place the empanadas on the prepared baking sheet and chill for a few minutes. Prick each pie on top twice with a fork. When ready to bake, beat the egg yolks with 1 tablespoon water. Brush the egg wash over each empanada. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving. The empanadas can be cooled and frozen to reheat in a microwave.
Cream Cheese Pastry
This is a great pastry- easy to make and more forgiving than most
- 120 grams butter
- 100 grams cream cheese
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- 1½ cup flour
- In a food processor, blend cream cheese, butter and flour until a coarse sand like look.
- Slowly pour the cream into the mixture while being blend. Continue blending until the dough holds together as a ball
- Divide into 2 balls on a floured surface then flatten into a disc and wrap in plastic film. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before using.
- It can be chilled overnight in fridge , just take it out 25-35 mins prior to use
Generally pastry is best made quickly with cold ingredients. Chilling the pastry helps to make the flakiness – more pastry recipes to come like butter pastry and puff pastry. Cream cheese pastry is a nice forgiving recipe and a good one for pastry beginners – so give it a go!