October 16, 2009

Turkey Empanadas

During one weekend, I was on a bread kick. Why? I love my kitchen aid mixer and realized it had been weeks (weeks, I say!) since I put that dough kneader to work. It’s hard pressed to find a good empanada when I don’t venture to Mexican or Spanish restaurants much. The last empanada I had that was so perfect – in Puerto Rico on the beach where “chef” was walking around yelling if we wanted some. I still remember the crew of us standing on the beach, chowing down on empanadas with sauce dripping from our fingers. So very yum.

This was not the perfect recipe but it was good and I’ll try and experiment again soon. The dough was good (it must be with 2 sticks of buttah!) but the filling could have been a little creamier – a tad too dry for me. And for the filling, I probably should have followed a recipe but I thinking I was so great, I made it up. Yeah, I’m not a chef and shouldn’t be doing that often – ha! Next time, I may add potatoes to the filling so its gives a more creamy, starchy consistency.

Turkey Empanadas

1 /2 to 1 lb ground turkey
Frozen corn
1 tomato cut into cubes
5 shallots sliced
1 Bay leave
Dry basil
Dry oregano
Dash of hot sauce
Dry Italian seasoning/herbs
Dash of cumin
A tad of chicken broth

Dough from Smitten Kitchen
4 ½ cups flour
3 tsp salt
2 sticks cold butter, cut into cubes
2 eggs
2/3 cup ice water
2 tbsp vinegar

1. Start with the dough since it needs to be chilled in the fridge for 2 hours. In the kitchen aid mixer bowl, cut the COLD cubes of butter into the flour. It should end up being tiny modules of doughy lumps. In another bowl, mix egg, water and vinegar. Put the mixer on slow with the kneader and slowly add in the wet mixture. Let it knead until it forms a round ball. Put on counter and form into a ball and wrap with plastic wrap. Chill for 2 hours in the fridge.

2. 30 minutes before your 2 hours are up, start making the filling. Cook the ground turkey with some olive oil. Season with salt, pepper, oregano, basil and Italian seasoning. Once almost done, take out the turkey and put in a bowl. Using the same pan with the turkey juices, cook down the shallots (add somre more olive oil if you need) until they are soft and makes your kitchen smell delicious. Add in the tomatoes and let it cook a little more.
3. I also added in a tad bit of chicken broth to help cook and steam. Once tomatoes are soft, add in the frozen corn and season with salt and pepper. Add in the turkey. Season with a dash of hot sauce and cumin. Add additional dry herbs if needed – I tasted every step of the way.

4. Take dough out of fridge and cut it into four cube. Take half and cute them into size of a golf ball. Roll out into a flat dish, fill with turkey filling, and with some water around the edges, seal them into that pretty empanada shape we all love. This recipe makes about 20 empanadas. Do a quick egg wash on the top if you need.

5. Cook in 400 degree oven for 20 minutes.

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