This dish is perfect party food – especially when you make them in these mini versions.
Author: Carrie King
Recipe Type: Side
Serves: 12 empanadas
For the empanada dough
1½ cups AP flour, plus more
½ cup masa harina
⅓ cup canola oil or vegetable oil, plus more
2 tsp agave nectar
1 tsp salt
For the Charred Poblano Filling
4 poblano peppers
1 Tbsp creme fraiche
salt and black pepper
For the Pumpkin Seed Salsa
1 cup pumpkin seeds, soaked in water
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 jalapenos, blackened and minced
1 tsp cumin
1 cup water, plus more
1 large handful cilantro, chopped
salt and pepper
In a large mixing bowl, whisk or sift together the flour, salt, baking powder and masa harina.
Add the oil and agave nectar – mix together well. Gradually add water until it forms a solid ball of dough. Depending on the flour, you might have to add a bit more oil if the dough is cracking and seems too dry.
Turn onto a lightly floured surface, knead for a minute or two until smooth.
Wrap in plastic and place in fridge to rest.
Preparing the Peppers
Turn the oven onto the broil setting.
On a baking tray lined with foil, lay the poblanos and jalapeños in an even layer.
Place the tray in the oven, about 4 inches from the broiler. Broil until the peppers have blackened on all sides – rotating every 15 minutes or so.
Once fully charred, remove from the oven and use the foil to wrap the peppers until they have cooled enough to handle.
For the poblanos – remove the stems and blackened skins and scrape the seeds away – if you rinse them under the tap, the seeds will come away easily.
In a food processor, puree the poblanos along with the creme fraiche and a pinch of salt, until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning. Reserve to the side.
Remove only the stems from the jalapeños and mince them. Reserve on the side for the pumpkin seed salsa.
Pumpkin Seed Salsa
Drain the soaked pumpkin seeds.
In a large frying pan, sauté the minced garlic in the olive oil until fragrant, ~3 minutes.
Add the pumpkin seeds to the oil and sauté for another 4-5 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper.
Transfer the pumpkin seeds and garlic to the bowl of a food processor.
Add the cumin, chopped jalapenos and water. Puree until smooth, adding more water as necessary.
Transfer the puree to a bowl and mix well to incorporate the chopped cilantro.
Stuffing and Baking the Empanadas
Preheat the oven to 425ºF
Roll the rested empanada dough into a round that is roughly ⅛ inch thick.
Use a round cookie or biscuit cutter to cut rounds that are 3-4 inches in diameter.
Dollop a teaspoon or so of the poblano filling into the center of each round.
Lightly dampen the edges of each pastry round with water, which will act as a glue.
Fold the dough in half, over the filling and press the edges down to seal it.
Use the tip of a fork to create ridges along the semi-circular edge, which also helps to ensure the empanada is sealed.
On a baking tray lined with parchment, lay two rows of empanadas.
Place the tray into the oven and bake for around 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown.
Carrie King is a Brooklyn-based freelance food writer and trained chef. When not in her kitchen or at her desk, she’s poking around a market, searching for the components of her next meal. Carrie believes that in the war against bad cooking, using local and seasonal ingredients is half the battle. You can share in more of Carrie’s culinary adventures at her blog, A Cook Grows in Brooklyn.