Saturday, February 22, 2014

A Month-of-Appetizers: Beef Empanadas My Way

Empanadas are crescent-shaped dough pockets filled with spicy meat and baked or fried. I used to make these a lot, but had almost forgotten about them until I was preparing for this Month-of-Appetizers.

My memory of my creation of them is that we had empanadas in a restaurant, and, as I often do, I said, “I could make these!” So I did. Or…rather, I made a version that resembled what the chef had prepared. But not!

Beef Empanadas My Way (makes about 12-15)

1 pie dough
½# lean ground beef
½ medium onion, finely diced
salt/pepper to taste
1 clove garlic minced
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon cocoa chile powder
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 handful raisins
1 egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon water

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare a cookie sheet.

Cut the pie dough with a 2 ½” -3” biscuit cutter to make 12-15 circles of dough. Set aside.

Cook ground beef in a small skillet, breaking up until it is tiny pieces and cooked through. Remove beef and add onion to the skillet. Cook until translucent. Add beef back in, add salt and pepper, and stir.

Add minced garlic to the mixture and cook 2 minutes more. Stir in brown sugar, cocoa chile powder, and cinnamon. Remove from heat. Add in raisins.

Fill dough circles with just enough empanada mixture so you can fold over to make crescents. Crimp the open edge to seal.  [You will probably have some meat mixture left. I often mix with cooked rice for lunch.]

Brush each empanada with egg wash. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. Remove from pan and serve immediately.

DH’s Rating: 3 ½ Tongues Up  He likes them, but he never requests them like some dishes. He’s not crazy about having fruit with his beef. As I said before, bless his heart, he’ll eat anything.

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