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Spicy Empanadas

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“I Threw all these ingredients together when I was bored one day and man, do they really kick! Tone 'em down with less peppers if you can't stand the heat. They can be made ahead of time and frozen, and then popped into the oven for 15 minutes and then served with guacamole and sour cream. A good spicy salsa would also go well with these! Use frozen puff pastry dough to speed it up a bit. They are well worth the effort!”

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. To make the dough-.
  2. Cut the chilled lard into small pieces and mix into the flour with your fingers until it is lumpy and coarse.
  3. Don’t overwork it.
  4. Add the ice water a tablespoon at a time, while stirring it with a fork or spoon until it forms a ball.
  5. You will have to pick it up and form the ball, but you will still see the lard in it, a bit like streaked marble.
  6. It should be a little sticky, but not too.
  7. Put it in the fridge for an hour to chill and then remove and let it come to room temperature for one hour before you roll it.
  8. When you are ready to fill the empanadas, roll the dough out to 1/8 inch.
  9. Cut 4 inch circles with a cookie cutter, or whatever you have on hand.
  10. A friend taught me the secret to puff pastry dough.
  11. It is this-2 parts flour to 1 part lard (butter has water in it and therefore will not be flakey like lard.) You can alter the amount of dough you need but keep this simple formula and you will have success.
  12. You can also use ready made dough to speed things up considerably.
  13. To make the filling-.
  14. Soak the raisins in the white wine until plump, about 20 minutes, do this before you start the rest.
  15. Cut the tomatoes in half and grate them (yes, GRATE them on your cheese grater) by pressing down hard right down to the skins.
  16. Discard the skins.
  17. Add the contents to a blender and add the reconstituted ancho and the chipotles, juice of 1 lime and ½ of the cumin.
  18. Blend until smooth.
  19. Brown the beef in a large skillet over medium-high heat until well browned, about 15 minutes.
  20. Drain off the excess fat and add the onions, stir until translucent, about 3-5 minutes.
  21. Add the diced Jalapeño, and the Serranos, stir until fragrant and a bit soft, about 3 minutes.
  22. Add the glass with the raisins, including the wine and stir, while scraping the brown bits from the bottom of the pan, until the wine is evaporated and the raisins are soft, about 5 minutes.
  23. Add the pressed garlic and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  24. Add the rest of the cumin, nutmeg, coriander, cinnamon and salt and stir for about 30 seconds.
  25. Add the contents from the blender, bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for about 1 hour.
  26. Taste, and adjust the seasonings, if necessary.
  27. HINT- if you use chipotles in adobo, omit the tomatoes, and use a little low-sodium chicken broth to thin the sauce, if necessary.
  28. To fill them-.
  29. Have a fork, a glass of water, and some excess flour handy.
  30. Dip your finger in water, and run it around the bottom half of the dough circle, on the edge, like a smiley face.
  31. Take a tablespoon of filling, a pinch of cheese and then fold the dough over it and press down gently, so it stays in place.
  32. Take the tines of the fork, dip them in flour and press down around the edges of the empañada to seal.
  33. Poke a hole in the top and freeze immediately.
  34. Adjust the amount of filling so that the empanada is not over-filled, but plump.
  35. Your first ones will be ugly, but with a little practice, they will turn out perfectly, and well sealed.
  36. This will make about 30+ empañadas, depending on how much filling you put inside.

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