Empanadas are turnover pastries filled with sweet or savoury fillings. They are either baked or fried. An empanada can be eaten as a main meal with an accompaniment such as a salad or soup. If you are on the move, they are perfect for a lunch box or an afternoon picnic. They are very easy to make and even easier to eat. More than that, they are delicious. Empanadas are popular in Spain, Portugal, Chile and Argentina and are widely available as fast food in those countries. In fact, the word empanada is derived from the Spanish 'empanar', which means 'to fold into bread'.
An empanada is made by folding a flat disc of dough with filling into a semicircle and then sealing the edges. You can fill your empanada with anything - mince chicken filling, beef, or just plain cheese. You can get as creative as you want. Make it as big or as small as you wish.
If it's to serve as a main meal, then make it bigger; if you want to serve it as a snack, make it bite-sized. We are going to give you the recipe for a simple pizza empanada - which is basically a pizza turnover. Gather your ingredients and get ready to eat some empanadas.
- STEP 1: In a bowl, beat the water and egg together. Set aside.
- STEP 3: Cut the butter into the flour mix with a pastry blender or two butter knives. Make a well in the centre of the flour mix and pour the liquid ingredients from the first bowl into it.
- STEP 4: Mix the wet and dry ingredients with a fork until it becomes stiff.
- STEP 5: Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead it just until all the flour is incorporated and the dough is smooth.
- STEP 6: Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate for at least one hour, but never more than 24 hours.
- STEP 7: After an hour, place the dough on a floured countertop. Roll it out into 1/8-inch thickness. Cut the dough into circles with round cookie cutters or biscuit cutters. For large empanadas use 6-inch cutters; for empanaditas use 3-inch cutters.
Tip: If you want to keep the dough longer than 24 hours you can freeze it.
- 3 cups flour (plus a little more for kneading)
- 1 teaspoon salt n 1/2 cup cold water
- 1 egg n 3 tablespoons butter Filling
- 1 15-ounce can of pizza sauce
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 1/2 cups pepperoni (diced or sliced)
- Black olives
- Oil for frying
The writer is a freelancer based in Dubai