Howdy folks, and thanks for stopping by the website. Empanadas are one of my favorite pocket meals – you can carry it with you in your pocket until you’re ready to eat. Now, a lot of people are intimidated by empanadas because they require a homemade dough. Don’t worry, it is an easy dough to make and I have come up with some tricks that will make it even easier. Stick with me, because these are going to be good.
Step 1: Make the Dough
Dough doesn’t have to be scary. I know, when baking breads and other treats that use yeast, you have to have everything an exact temperature and sitting in the corner of a dark room on the third day of the first month with a full moon in order for it to turn out. Fortunately, this dough isn’t that complicated.
Get you some luke warm water. You do not need to measure the temperature, just get water that doesn’t feel cold or hot to the touch and you’re fine. You’ll need to melt some butter and let it cool for a minute or so before you add it to the water.
Tip: For flakier crust, add apple cider vinegar or vodka to the dough
A splash of apple cider vinegar or vodka makes a world of difference to the outcome of this mixture. You’ll need about a tablespoon and a half- no more than that. Add the salt. Stir and set aside.
Grab a large mixing bowl for the dry ingredients. You’ll mix together the flour and some of my Chili Seasoning or your favorite chili powder. This will give the crust a delicious bite of flavor that will mix so well with the flavors in the filling.
Tip: Add some Chili Seasoning to the flour to kick up the flavor in the dough.
Slowly add the flour mixture to the liquid ingredients, stirring well as you go. If you pour all of the flour in at once, you’ll get a clumpy dough. The dough is the right consistency when you can no longer mix it with a spoon and it does not stick to your hands.
When I say that I want you to turn the dough out on a heavily floured surface, I mean it. You want a solid thin layer of flour under this dough so that you can knead it for five minutes without the dough turning sticky. After the dough is kneaded, wrap in plastic wrap and put into the ice box.
Tip: The dough must chill for at least 2 hours or the seal can break apart while frying.
Step 2: Prepare the Filling
I love the savory flavor and texture of a good empanada filling with lots of cheese. For these empanadas, combine cubes of mozzarella and pepper jack cheese. It’ll be the perfect melt and the perfect flavor to compliment the meat and chilies.
Pre-heat a skillet to medium and melt a stick of butter. Add the diced onions to the butter, along with the oregano. Cook over medium for about ten minutes, adding the garlic at the very end. Set aside.
Brown the 80/20 ground beef and pork sausage until they’re half done. Add the green chilies, the jalapeno, and the orange bell pepper and cook for few minutes. When it’s just about done, add the onion mixture and stir well. Season well with our Mesquite Seasoning or salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat.
Step 3: Assemble the Empanadas
Before you begin this step, you should have well-chilled dough that has been in the ice box for at least two hours, and filling that is fully cooked and slightly cooled.
Remove the chilled dough from the ice box and cut into fourths. Immediately wrap two of the doughballs in plastic wrap and place back in the ice box. These will be made in two batches; half now and half later. The reason for this is so the second batch of empanadas doesn’t fall apart because the dough got too warm. The dough will keep for a couple of days at the least, so you can make more tomorrow or make a second batch while the first batch cools off.
Roll out the first doughball to about 1/8″ thick. Using a circular tin can or cookie cutter, cut a dough circle about 4 or 5 inches in diameter.
Once all of the dough is cut into circles, it’s time to add the filling. Before filling, mash each circle just a little bit, as they will have shrunk while you were cutting out the rest of the dough.
Add about 1 1/2 tablespoons of filling and one chunk of each type of cheese. Fold over, and crimp shut with your fingers.
Tip: If the dough doesn’t seal well, wet your fingers and wet the inside edges of the dough. It should work after that.
Step 4: Fry the Empanadas
Frying the empanadas is the shortest part, but it will feel like the longest because you’re going to want to eat these NOW. Once the fry oil is preheated to 350 degrees, fry two to three empanadas at a time. After 2-3 minutes, when they are golden brown, remove to a wire rack to cool. Repeat until all empanadas are finished.
If you wish, remove the two doughballs from the ice box and repeat steps 3 and 4. Serve with our delicious salsa or your favorite, and enjoy!
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Empanadas – Cowboy Kent Rollins
- 2 cups warm water
- 1 stick melted butter cooled slightly
- 1 ½ tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar or Vodka
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 5 ½ to 6 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tablespoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ tablespoon Kent Rollins’ Chili Seasoning or chili powder
- 1 yellow onion finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- ½ pound ground beef 80/20
- ½ pound pork sausage
- 1 4 ounce can diced green chilies
- ⅓ cup diced orange bell pepper
- 1 jalapeno stemmed and seeded finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon Kent Rollins’ Mesquite Seasoning or salt and pepper
- ½ tablespoon smoked paprika
- 8 ounces mozzarella cheese cut into ½ to 1 inch cubes
- 8 ounces pepper jack cheese cut into 1 inch cubes
- Oil for frying
- In a large mixing bowl, add the water, butter, vinegar or vodka, and salt. Mix well.
- In a separate bowl, add the flour and Kent Rollins’ Chili Seasoning or chili powder. Mix well.
- Gradually add small amounts of the flour mixture to the wet ingredients, mixing as you go. You want a dough that doesn’t stick to your hands.
- Dump out onto a floured surface and knead for about 5 minutes. Form into a disc. Wrap and place in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
- Meanwhile, add the butter to the skillet. When melted, add the onions and oregano and cook for about 8 to 10 minutes over low heat, stirring occasionally. Add in the garlic. Set aside.
- In a separate skillet over medium heat, crumble in the ground beef and sausage and cook until it is half browned, about 5 minutes.
- Add the green chilis, bell pepper, and jalapeno. Stir to mix evenly, Cook for 4 to 5 minutes or until the peppers are tender. Add in the onion mixture and cook for another 2 minutes. Season well with Kent Rollins’ Mesquite Seasoning or salt and pepper.
- Remove from heat and set aside.
- Remove the dough from the fridge and cut into fourths. Set two of the dough balls back in the ice box, covered in plastic wrap. Flour surface well and roll out the other two balls of dough into a rectangle. The dough should be about ⅛ inch thick. With a 4 to 5 inch round cookie cutter or circular implement, cut the dough out and place on a baking sheet.
- In Dutch oven or deep fryer, heat oil to 350 degrees F.
- Place about 1 ½ tablespoons of the filing in the center of the dough. Add the 2 chunks of mozzarella and pepper jack cheese and fold the dough over. Crimp well.
- Place two empanadas in the oil and cook for about 2 to 3 minutes or until golden brown. Remove and place on a wire rack. Repeat until all are fried.
There will be two balls of dough in the ice box. Save them for next time or make them immediately after you are finished frying the first batch, and not before. If you take too long to get the first batch into the fryer, they will warm up and fall apart in the oil.