Empanadas - samosas, pakoras, Cornish pasty, Jamaican "meat" pie

White Whole Wheat with cayenne, cherry bomb, paprika, potato, yam, sweet pea, onion with olive oil, honey and dried serrano pepper sauce.

 So many countries like to claim this little pastry as their own creation.   I would, if I were a country.  These can be fried like a samosa or pakora, but baked is easier, cleaner and still very delicious.  The filling can be dinner things or dessert things to make them turnovers.  They can be crescent moon shape or little purse shaped.  Whole wheat or white.  Glazed with sugar or with salt. The possibilities are innumerable.

This vegan based dough is just like a tortilla dough. Flour, salt, baking soda, olive oil and water.  The best part is that the dough cooks around the filling so you can skip the extra step of cooking tortillas like you would for wraps, pizzas, gyros or tacos.

Preheat oven to 400
  • 1 and 1/2 Cup whole wheat flour (you can do 50/50 white and WW or do just white.  I find whole wheat is a little easier to work with for these so it can help with manageability)
  • 1/2 tsp Sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1-2 TBSP olive oil (it doesn't require much)
  • Just enough hot water to combine everything. You don't want the dough too soupy or wet, you just want it to grab the loose flour from the sides of the bowl.

This will make approximately 10-12 empanadas if you roll out the dough to 1/2 inch thickness and use a 2 inch cutter.  I use a little mason jelly jar for my biscuit cutter.  Roll out or finger press each little circle until as wide and as thin as you wish.  Using a spoon scoop filling into center side of pocket and bring edges together and crimp/press edges.  If it isn't catching and staying then wet one of the sides and go again. 

These cook very quickly so you cannot count on undercooked or crunchy things to cook inside the dough at best it makes it's filling toasty warm. So whatever you choose to fill them with should be nearly as cooked as you wish it to be.

I will chop veggies into tiny cubes so a lot of variety can fit into the little pockets.

Favorite fillings are:

Sweet potato, potato, onion, pressed garlic, oregano, Hungarian paprika, sea salt saute everything until just under firm.  Once the empanadas come out of the oven plate them with a drizzle of honey or agave or whatever sauce you have prepared.

Potato, sweet peas, onion, pressed garlic, pinch cinnamon, nutmeg.  Drizzle of tamarind sauce. Or yogurt

BBQ -ed anything

Pear, sauteed onion or shallots, goat cheese.  Served with arugula and figs

Chutneys and peppers served with yogurt

Whiskeyed up apple pie  - apple chunks, cinnamon, brown sugar, vanilla and of course simmered in a shot or two of whiskey.  For color you can do an egg wash with cinnamon, and allspice. Or glaze with brown sugar after baking.

Jalapeno, yogurt cheese and chicken or steak and/or blended peppers.

Potato, bacon, chives, cheddar. served with yogurt.

Hard boiled egg slice, sliced olives, peppers and chicken. Served with a mole sauce or roasted garlic and dried peppers.

Duck, apricot, yogurt cheese or goat cheese.  Served with a wine or port sauce.

If you want a more bodied dough like a pastry or if you want it to have more decorative capabilities then you'll need to make a pie crust type of dough where you must freeze or chill between workings so that the butter holds together.  Something like say a braided rope end on the empanada's shape.  As it is you can crimp the ends closed in many fashions.  Pastry dough just holds designs better.  But it is the butter and consistant chill times that allow for the more elaborate decorations.


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