Photo Credit: E. Rosemond-Hoerr
When my husband and I first started dating, the Hot Pocket was a staple in his diet. Over the years I’ve introduced new things to his diet (yay, spinach!) and weeded a few things out, including the Hot Pocket.
A few weeks ago I went out of town for a long weekend and left him home with a fridge and freezer stocked with food. Enchilada casserole, quiche, salad, and a new favorite—the oven-baked empanada. Not unlike a Hot Pocket, these little savory hand pies are the perfect reheat-and-eat dinner. I stuffed these with sausage, cilantro, green tomatoes and shallots, but you could make meatball and cheese, chicken and pesto, or beef and broccoli! The best part? They’re perfect for new moms, kids, weeknight dinners alone or lunch to go!
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 cup shortening
1 1/2 sticks butter (cold)
1 cup water (cold)
3 tablespoons butter, divided
2 shallots, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 green tomato, diced
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
*I made dough, but you could easily use puff pastry.
In a large bowl, mix together flour, salt and cayenne pepper. Add shortening and work in with your hands until thoroughly mixed. Cube butter and mix it in. Work dough with your hands until it looks like course cornmeal. Slowly stir in half the water. If necessary, add more water a little at a time until the dough forms a ball. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least 1 hour.
Remove the casing from the sausage: Cut a slit down the side and peel off the casing. Break the sausage into small pieces. In a frying pan over medium heat, add sausage and 2 tablespoons butter; cook 7 to 10 minutes, or until brown and cooked through. Remove sausage to another bowl. Add the remaining butter to the pan, then stir in the shallots and garlic and cook until brown. Remove from the pan and add to sausage. Add the tomato to the pan. Saute very quickly, just until brown. Remove from heat and stir into sausage mixture. Stir cilantro into the mixture.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove dough from the fridge. On a floured surface, roll out pieces of dough to 5 inches in diameter. Fill each with a few tablespoons of the filling. Sprinkle cheese on top. Fold the dough over itself to cover the filling and form a half-moon shape. Crimp edges with a fork and place on a greased baking sheet.
When all empanadas are filled, cut 1/2-inch slits in the top of each. Whisk egg and brush on top of each empanada. Sprinkle with salt. Bake for 35 minutes or until golden brown.
Do you like empanadas? Chime in below!