Empanadas are Spanish or Mexican turnovers made from a pastry crust with a savory, spicy or sweet filling. There are endless possibilities — you can fill them with ground beef or chicken, cooked lentils, eggplant, veggies, fruit, etc. We filled ours with a tasty rice and sautéd veggie filling. These can be made with spelt or whole wheat fl our as well as white, and freeze very well. If you do freeze them, underbake them just a little so they won’t dry out when reheating.
1. cooked rice (leftovers are great!) sautéed onions, light green pepper, celery, and fresh garlic salt & pepper to taste pinch of nutmeg
2. If you’re in the mood to try something different, you can fi ll them Chilean style. For 3 cups cooked rice, add ½ cup black olives, ½ cup raisins, 2-4 cloves garlic, minced and 1 tsp oregano. Adjust seasoning to taste.
3. 1 onion and 2 cloves minced garlic sauteed in 1 Tbsp olive or canola oil. Add 1 cup sliced fresh or frozen mushrooms, and saute another 2–3 minutes. Add this to approx. 3 cups cooked brown rice and mix together. Add 6 sun-dried tomatoes, soaked in boiling water, drained, and coarsely chopped, to the above mixture. They add delicious fl avor. Season with salt and pepper and a generous pinch of thyme. This one is really good!
Mix all the ingredients together. Roll out the dough and cut it into circles, using a biscuit cutter or a glass. (Size is up to you! They’re very cute tiny, but it’s a lot of work!) Fill and fold in half. You can also cut the dough into squares and fold in half to get a triangle shape. This way you can put more fi lling. Pinch the edges together — you can use a fork for this. Optional: brush with egg and a drop of oil prior to baking, or with a sweet and sour sauce (or, if appropriate, apricot jam) for the last 10 minutes of baking. Sprinkle with sesame seeds if desired. Bake at 350F (180C) for ½ hour.
This recipe was featured in Mishpacha Magazine, Issue 107