Emerald’s Easy Empanadas
I fell in love with empanadas two years ago in Costa Rica, where I first discovered the fried dough pockets stuffed with cheesy, meaty goodness. But all of the empanadas I’ve come across in Mexico have been fruit-filled pastries more suitable for breakfast or dessert than dinner. Not that there’s anything wrong with a pineapple-cream-filled empanada, but lately I’ve had a hankering for something more savory. Chalk it up to my monthly carbs-n-cheese craving, but I wanted–no, NEEDED it to happen.
When I thought about it, I realized I could probably just use the tortilla recipe and stuff the uncooked tortillas and then fry them instead of baking them on a skillet. Which was correct. For stuffings I used carmelized onion, a little bit of jalapeño sausage, and oaxaca cheese (which is a white Mexican cheese similar to string cheese, sold in a coil, and very creamy when melted). After filling one side of the tortilla, I wetted the edges with a little bit of water, pressed it shut with the tines of a fork, and plopped it into some hot oil and cooked it on both sides until it was golden. Voila! It couldn’t be easier! And the options for stuffing are ENDLESS. I thought pumpkin cream cheese empanadas would also be good, as would mushroom and roasted peppers, or blue cheese and fig preserves or honey. A fried dough pocket, is, in my opinion, a blank canvas upon which any creation is destined to delight. I mean, it’s pretty hard to screw up fried dough….