Oh empanadas. You little portable parcels of buttery goodness. Just typing this post up is making me sad that there are no more of you little pastries left. The last time I made empanadas I used beef & cheese as a filling. I really didn’t think it could get much better than that. But oh, it can. Switch out the beefy cheesy filling for a spicy sausage one and add a side of creamy, tangy sauce to offset the flavors and WHAM. Even better.
Making empanadas can be quite laborious (but so worth it). If you’re low on time, make the dough and filling up to 2 days ahead of time. That way on serving day all you have to do is assemble, bake, and throw together the avocado cream. Easy as (savory) pie.
Taste: Buttery, spicy, tangy.
Texture: Oh that crust. It’s simply wonderful. Along with chunks of chorizo, potatoes, and creamy avocado it’s heavenly.
Appearance: I have yet to see an empanada that didn’t look scrumptious.
Ease: The dough recipe is ridiculously easy. I made the dough and filling a day ahead of time so that all I would have to do is assemble.
Pros: So freaking delicious. And the empanadas keep well in the fridge and taste just as good reheated in the oven.
Cons: None. Except maybe not the healthiest food ever.
Would I make this again? Yes.
Chorizo Empanadas with Avocado Cream
Adapted from here and here
Makes about 20 empanadas
- 1 cup water
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter
- 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons salt
- pinch paprika
- 1 pound Mexican chorizo, casings removed
- 1 medium yellow onion, minced
- 2-3 medium Yukon gold potatoes (or other waxy potatoes), peeled, finely diced, and boiled
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup half and half
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and roughly chopped
- 2 avocados
- kosher salt
For the dough:
Heat water and butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat until butter has melted. Let cool slightly. Mix flour, salt, and paprika in a large mixing bowl and make a well in the center. Pour melted butter mixture into flour mixture and mix with your hands until you get a wet, oily dough. Shape dough into a disk and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
For the filling:
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add chorizo, breaking apart into small pieces, then add onion. Saute until chorizo is cooked through. Turn off heat, add diced and boiled potatoes, and let cool completely.
While the filling is cooling, preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a large baking sheet with non-stick spray or line with parchment. Tear off pieces of dough to roll about 20 golf-sized balls. Using a rolling pin, roll out dough balls on a lightly floured surface into 5″ circles. Place 2-3 tablespoons of cooled filling into the center of each dough circle. Fold dough over filling to make a half-moon shape and press edges firmly to seal. Crimp with the back of a fork. Place empanadas on baking sheet and bake until golden brown, 15-20 minutes. Let cool.
For avocado cream:
While the empanadas cool, place sour cream, half and half, lemon juice, and jalapeno in the bowl of a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. Peel, pit, and dice the avocado and add to blender. Blend until smooth and creamy. Season with salt. If not serving immediately, wrap tightly with plastic wrap, pressing plastic onto the surface of avocado cream to prevent browning.