We're getting very creative with our quarantine recipes here in the FishSki Co-Founder household. Last night we made empanadas! Empanadas are essentially little baked dough pockets of food (like a dumpling) and you can fill them with whatever you really want. So what did Rob pick? Hatch green chile with melted cheese. What did Tania pick? ground elk meat with diced tomatoes and leeks.
Green Chile Empanadas Dough Recipe
I (Co-Founder Tania) followed this empanada dough recipe from The Spruce Eats, but made one alteration: 2 tbs of sugar verses 3 (we're just not big sweets people). I also didn't have a cookie cutter big enough so I used a takeout container instead.
Empanada Green Chile Filling (Rob's)
- Defrosted roasted Hatch green chiles (1 small zip lock bag) chopped
- Mexican four cheese (comes shredded)
After cutting circles out of the dough, we placed small amounts of chiles in the center of the dough followed by a pile of Mexican four cheese (go big, it smooshes down when melting). With a finger lightly rub some egg water (see dough recipe) along the edge of the dough. This will help glue the empanada together when you fold and press the edges.
The dough we used is best for baking. I set the oven to 350F and let them bake for about thirty minutes. I checked up on them every ten minutes to make sure none were burning. About halfway through baking, I brushed each empanada with a little egg water to gloss them up.
After baking I let them sit on a cooling rack for about five minutes to let the ingredients settle before chowing down.
Empanada Ground Elk Meat Filling (Tania's)
I quickly fried up the leeks, followed by ground meat in a large frying pan. I lightly added some Adobo seasoning to the meat and leeks. I then added the chopped tomato, let it cook for another minute, and shut the pan off. I let the meat sit in a bowl for ten minutes to cool down.
Following the same process as the green chile empanadas, we piled a spoonful of meat on the dough circle, added the egg water to the edges, and folded the dough over to make a moon crescent.
Green Chile Empanada Dipping Sauce
I made two different dips - one for the green chile empanadas, and one for the elk empanadas. For the green chile empanadas I simply heated up some leftover pasta sauce and added a little Frank's Red Hot to spice it up.
Ground Elk Empanada Dipping Sauce
- 1 Leek whole stalk chopped (or leek leaves)
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 4 tbs plain yogurt
- 1 tsp sherry wine vinegar
- 2 big squirts lemon juice
- Seasoning to taste: salt, pepper, garlic powder
Remember the leeks from the filling? Leeks have a huge stalk (or leek leaf) that is typically tossed and not used. I decided to chop and roast them in the oven inspired by some other blogs I saw roasting leek stalks. I put my chopped leek stalk in the oven at 425F for about twenty minutes with a sprinkle of salt, black pepper, and garlic powder. Bake until a little crispy but not fully browned.
I let the leeks cool down for over an hour. I then put them in a small food blender with 1 tbs of olive oil and 1 teaspoon of sherry wine vinegar. After they were nice and blended I added four heaping tablespoons of plain yogurt, and two long squirts of lemon juice. The dip was now a thick substance. To make it a little more dip-able I added some water and blended again. This step might not be necessary though if your yogurt is wetter than the one I used. Add more seasoning or yogurt if you want a slightly different flavor.
How Were the Empanadas?
Delicious! And extremely filling. We made about 15, and I personally could only eat four. Rob had a few more empanadas than me, but we have plenty for lunch today! Yummm, I look forward to my empanada lunch.