smoky turkey empanadas

By garlic and zest
October 12, 2015
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Author Notes: Make your own empanada dough - or buy ready-made pastries at the market.garlic and zest

Makes: 24

for the pastry

  • 4 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 sticks cold, unsalted butter, cut into chunks
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar

for the filling

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound ground turkey (not extra lean)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 reen bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Ancho or other chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 cup crumbled queso fresco
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon water
  1. Pulse the butter and flour in the work bowl of a food processor until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Note: if you don't have a food processor, work the butter and flour between your fingers until you have the same consistency.
  2. Beat together the eggs, water and vinegar in a small bowl and add to the flour mixture, stirring until just incorporated. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and gather the dough together. Knead gently once or twice, just enough to bring the dough together. Shape into a flat rectangle and chill, wrapped in plastic wrap for at least 1 hour.
  3. Adjust oven racks to the top 1/3 and bottom 1/3 of the oven. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  4. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the olive oil, onion, bell pepper and garlic and sauté 4-5 minutes until vegetables soften. Add the ground turkey and brown the meat while breaking it apart with the back of a fork or wooden spoon. Add the fresh tomato, raisins cumin, smoked paprika, chili powder, salt and pepper. Stir to combine and cook for an additional 3-5 minutes until mixture is well blended - adjust seasonings if necessary. Remove from heat, stir in queso fresco and place the lid on the pan. Set aside.
  5. Cut the dough into 4 equal pieces. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out one piece of dough to 1/8" thick. Cut the dough into 5" rounds and transfer to a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Repeat until all the dough has been rolled and cut.
  6. (If you're using the store-bought pastry, this is where they come into play.) Mound 2 tablespoons of turkey filling onto the pastry and carefully fold over, pressing along the edge to seal the dough. Use the tines of a fork to press the edge together and make a decorative border.
  7. Add the egg and water to a small bowl and beat lightly with a fork. Use a pastry brush to paint the empanadas with the egg wash. Bake for 25 minutes, alternating the baking sheets halfway through cooking. Cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes and serve.

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