Baking Tribute to #SpicyChat with Empanadas: Spicy & Buttery Deliciousness!!

It has been a hectic couple of weeks to put it mildly. I have been on the road the past two weeks from Miami to Vermont and simultaneously have been hosting house guests. Miami was a mini vacation whereas Vermont was a trip to the oldest flour company, King Arthur Flour, (might I add the only flour I personally use). Both these trips rejuvenated and inspired me with their wonderful creations. Needless to say, I came home considerably obsessed with baking.

The Blog and Bake Event at King Arthur was not only educational, more importantly the talented instructors/bakers passion and perfection for baking was intoxicating. My brain was working overtime with new recipes. What perfect timing! I can demonstrate my reignited baking skills with tribute to #Spicychat Empanadas – Melting in your mouth spicy and buttery goodness!

An Empanada is a stuffed bread or pastry traditionally fried or baked with stuffing ranging from meat, cheese, vegetables, and even fruits. Different countries create their own unique version of Empanada – Calzone in Italy, Samosa in India, Dumplings in SE Asia, pastelillos in Cuba. I am combining a pastry like dough with a spicy vegetarian and non-vegetarian pie. As I am not a fan of frying and also to showcase the flakiness of the crust, I chose to bake these empanadas.

Roasted Chicken, Jalapenos, and Caramelized Onions Empanada served with a Jalapeno Cream Sauce

Spinach, Paneer, and Green Chili Empanada with Chipotle Cream Sauce

Without further adieu, let’s start baking!!

 

Chicken, Jalapeno, & Caramelized Onion Empanada

The spicy roast chicken filling combined with the sweetness of caramelized onions and raisins works flawlessly with the ultra flaky and buttery crust. The best part of King Arthur’s recipe for the dough is that anyone can create the perfect crust within minutes. All you need is KA flour, butter, and loads of TLC.

 

Ingredients:

  • 21/2 cups King Arthur All Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 4 ounces shortening or lard, chilled
  • 4 ounces unsalted butter, chilled
  • 12-14 tablespoons iced water
  • 1/2 rotisserie roasted chicken, shredded
  • 1 jalapeño, thinly sliced
  • 1 big onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons raisins, diced (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 egg combined with 2 tablespoon water for egg wash

Directions:

Empanada Dough:

  1. Combine the flour and salt in a mixing bowl.
  2. Incorporate the chilled lard in the flour until the dough resembles coarse cornmeal. Work quickly for tender results.
  3. Cut the butter into big chunks and flatten each piece in the dough. This process will create a flakier crust.
  4. Sprinkle 8 tablespoons of ice-cold water and mix until the dough is just coming together. Add additional water if the dough seems dry.
  5. Gather the dough and press into a flat disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.

While the dough is chilling make the filling.

Meat Filling:

  1. On medium-low heat sauté the onions and jalapeño until the onions are golden brown. Add roasted chicken and raisins,  and stir to combine. Check the filling for salt and pepper.

Empanada:

  1. Pre heat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Lightly flour a rolling-pin and counter. Roll the chilled pastry dough into 1/8 of an inch dish or rectangle.
  3. Using a 4 inch cookie or biscuit cutter, cut out circles of dough. Re-roll the scraps and continue making circles until the dough is used, approximately 20-25.
  4. Spoon 1 tsp of filling on each circle. Apply egg wash on the edges of the border.
  5. Fold the dough over in half to enclose the filling and form a semi-circle. Tightly seal the edges by crimping with a fork.
  6. Place the empanadas on a parchment lined baking sheet and brush the tops with egg wash.
  7. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the pastry is golden brown.
  8. Serve warm with Jalapeno Cream Sauce.

 

Vegetarian Empanadas with Spinach, Paneer, and Green Chilis

These vegetarian empanadas are my take on the quintessential paneer and spinach dish from North India. Spinach and Paneer are perhaps the favorite ingredients for Indian vegetarians. And as you all know, my mom is a vegetarian so I am constantly creating recipes that will appeal to her palate. The filling itself is spiced but for #spicychat I dial it up a notch by serving it with a smoky chipotle cream sauce. I used LAND O LAKES® Olive Oil and Sea Salt Butter for this recipe. Interestingly enough, the texture of the empanadas were less flaky but the taste was quite similar to using all butter. I was duly impressed.

 

Ingredients:

  • 21/2 cups King Arthur All Purpose Flour
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 8 ounces LAND O LAKES® Olive Oil and Sea Salt Butter, chilled
  • 12-14 tablespoons iced water
  • 3 cups frozen spinach, squeezed of excessive water
  • 4 Indian green chili, thinly sliced
  • 1 big onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup paneer, grated (substitute with hard tofu)
  • 2 tablespoons raisins, diced (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 egg combined with 2 tablespoon water for egg wash

Directions:

Empanada Dough:

  1. Combine the flour and salt in a mixing bowl.
  2. Incorporate half the chilled butter in the flour until the dough resembles coarse cornmeal. Work quickly for tender results.
  3. Cut the remaining butter and flatten each pieces in the dough. This process will create a flakier crust.
  4. Sprinkle 8 tablespoons of ice cold water and mix until the dough is just coming together. Add additional water if the dough seems dry.
  5. Gather the dough and press into a flat disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.

While the dough is chilling make the filling.

Vegetarian Filling:

  1. On medium-low heat saute the onions and chilis until the onions are golden brown.
  2. Add spinach, paneer, and raisins, and stir to combine. Check the filling for salt and pepper.

Empanada:

  1. Pre heat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Lightly flour a rolling pin and counter. Roll the chilled pastry dough into 1/8 of an inch dish or rectangle.
  3. Using a 4 inch cookie or biscuit cutter, cut out circles of dough. Re-roll the scraps and continue making circles until the dough is used, approximately 20-25.
  4. Spoon 1 tsp of filling on each circle. Apply egg wash on the edges of the border.
  5. Fold the dough over in half to enclose the filling and form a semi-circle. Tightly seal the edges by crimping with a fork.
  6. Place the empanadas on a parchment lined baking sheet and brush the tops with egg wash.
  7. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the pastry is golden brown.
  8. Serve warm with Chipotle Cream Sauce.

I cannot emphasize enough how simple King Arthur’s dough recipe is and it yields foolproof results each time.  My family devoured the flaky pastries in a matter of minutes.  These Empanadas are the ideal starter for your  meal and if you enjoy some spice, the  #spicychat bold flavors are sure to wake your senses up.

 

 Join Us Every Thursday at 8 PM EST for #SpicyChat Twitter party to bring some spice in your lives!

 

 

Short URL: http://tinyurl.com/bndy64k

16 Comments

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  4. My stepdaughter lives near Norwich, VT and no visit is complete without a trip to King Arthur Flour. I haven’t taken any of their classes, but she has and her pie crust is to die for. Your empanadas look amazing and thanks for providing a substitute for paneer.

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  6. I have only had beef empanadas so I am wanting to try your recipes. I am glad you posted this so I know how to handle the dough. Thanks so much for sharing this for #SundaySupper

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