I love food blogging events, I’ve participated in two so far and both have been marvellous. The last I took part in, Blogging By Mail, introduced me to the wonderful Brilynn, the blogger behind Jumbo Empanadas Recipe. As soon as I found out who I was sending my care package to, I eagerly went to the blog in question…and went ‘huh??‘.
Before I go any further, in defence of my ignorance, I’ll point out the fact that I am still new to the whole ‘expanding culinary boundaries‘ thing, and that Latin American food is something that is not bountiful here in Melbourne, Australia. So, whilst I understood the ‘jumbo’ part, I had to google to find out what the heck an empanada was!
Easy Empanada Recipe From Scratch
Ahhh, wikipedia to the rescue! Essentially, it is just a stuffed pastry, not entirely unlike the Italian calzone. My research revealed that these are quite tasty looking treats that would serve well as preprepared snacks to be stored in the freezer/fridge, so I made a mental note that I would need to give them a try sometime.
Fast-forward a few months to today. I’ve been feeling very run down of late, and upon visiting the doctor yesterday, he advised that it might be a good idea to go in for some blood work and have my blood sugar, hormone levels etc tested to see if anything is misbehaving.
His final comment was that I needed to make sure that my stomach was empty before I went in so that my blood sugar would be accurate. However, when I got home I realized that he hadn’t told me just how long I needed to fast, and since I hadn’t eaten since breakfast, I had a quick bowl of cereal then started my fasting. This was at 6pm last night.
When I woke at 6am this morning, my tummy was making a little noise for some kind of substance, but I had a glass of water and tried to ignore it, knowing that I’d only need to go a few more hours, till the pathology lab opened at 8:30am. I got there at 8:35am…and there was so many people that I had to stand.
I didn’t get in to have my blood drawn till 10:30am. ARGGGH!
By the time I’d been vampirised and trudged home, I was grumpy, tired and absolutely famished. After not having eaten for over 17 hours, I knew I needed something simple and easy to digest, so I had a piece of toast with a little butter scraped over the top. That sated my stomach, but it didn’t satisfy my tastebuds.
I sat down and flipped through my notebook, and saw the scribbled note about empanadas recipe. My tastebuds and I conferred, agreed that it seemed a perfectly good idea, and set about searching for a recipe. Between this recipe and the one in my never before used, pocket-sized ’step-by-step Mexican cooking’ book, I thought I had a recipe that would do me quite well, and I set to work.
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The pastry is light and flaky, the filling spicy and sweet – between the two, this makes for a dangerously delicious dish 🙂 If you’re looking for lunch ideas for work, I heartily recommend giving these empanada recipe a try, as they are tasty hot or cold!
Chorizo & Capsicum Empanadas Recipe
Ingredients for filling
- 1 1/2 chorizo sausages, chopped small
- 1 medium capsicum (bell pepper), deseeded and diced
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 hard-boiled eggs, roughly chopped
- 1 cup frozen peas
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 tsp brown sugar
Ingredients for pastry
- 2 cups plain (all-purpose) flour
- Pinch of salt
- 80g butter, diced
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2 tbsp butter, softened
- 1 beaten egg
How to Make Easy Empanada Recipe
1. Fry onion and capsicum till softened and onion is transparent, then add the chopped chorizo and fry till cooked. Throw in the peas and heat through, then add the tomato paste and brown sugar and mix till well combined. Add the egg, and salt and pepper to taste, then set aside to cool.
2. Preheat oven to 200 degrees C. Mix salt into flour, then rub in butter till mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add milk and mix through to make a soft dough.
3. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface, and lightly knead till dough is smooth. Divide into 3 equal portions and roll each portion into even-sized squares. Rest pastry for about 15 minutes in the fridge.
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4. Spread two of the squares with softened butter, then stack them on top of each other with the unbuttered square on top. Roll them out together to about 3mm in thickness.
5. Cut out circles about 15cm in diameter (you should get about 6-7), and divide the cooled filling evenly between them in a half-circle shape, making sure to keep about 2cm from the outer edge.
6. Brush the edges with the beaten egg, then fold in half and press the edges firmly together with a fork. Place on a prepared baking sheet and brush tops with the remaining egg.
7. Bake for about 15 – 20 minutes, or till slightly puffed and golden in colour. Unbaked empanadas can be frozen – to bake the frozen pastries, heat oven to 200 degrees C and bake for 25 – 30 minutes or till golden brown.
8. Serve with a green salad to make a full meal out of it, or just enjoy on its own as a light meal to satisfy both stomach and tastebuds 🙂