New Mexico Green Chile Empanadas!
I was talking to my sister-in-law last week about Empanadas. She makes some of the best Mexican food ever! Seriously!
I always tease her that her fridge looks better than any produce stand because she seems to have everything she needs for making just about any Mexican dish. It also helps that she grew up in New Mexico. She and her family are Spanish and well, that should tell you that when I lived in New Mexico….I sat at her kitchen table and took it all in as I watched her deftly make all kinds of Mexican food. I have shared some of her recipes here on this Blog and all I can say is Thank you Sis…..and even though my late husband is no longer with us….my brother-in-law’s wife will always be my Sis.
But let’s talk Empanadas!
The origin of the Empanada is said to be a valley in Spain! But Empanadas can be found in Portugal, the Caribbean, Latin America, and the Philippines, and are essentially a stuffed pastry. The name comes from the Spanish verb empanar, meaning to wrap or coat in bread. Usually the Empanada is made by folding a thin circular-shaped dough over on itself after filling with a mixture of choice….thus, creating its typical semicircular shape. An Italian Calzone is similar to the Spanish Empanada and there are many, many forms of this filled pastry. Some have said that the Argentinian Empanadas, are the best in the world. I have not been to Argentina so I can not speak for their Empanadas but I can speak for the New Mexico Empanada….and they are delish no matter what filling you use. I just like these little hand held, light and fluffy pastries loaded with green chiles, meat and cheese!
I have made Empanadas using only fresh spices and pulled beef, but for these quick pastries, I used a taco seasoning mix, ground turkey and a refrigerated pie crust as well as the Empanada wrappers.
So let’s get started making Empanadas ….after all, it is almost Super Bowl time and even if my team did not make the cut….the Captain and I will be glued to the Television on Super Bowl Sunday. I mean it is super bowl 50! How amazing is that?
I have to tell you that I saw the cutest football shaped cakes at my favorite bakery and I thought football shapes are so easy to do, so why not do a football shaped Empanada? So just for grins and giggles, I used my easter egg cookie cutter to get the football shape going. Then I stretched the pie dough on one end to assimilate a football.
I have to confess that I preferred the conventional half moon shape of the Empanada with the actual wrapper. The Empanada wrappers can be bought in the freezer section of your supermarket and you only take out what you need. The plus for me was the bigger shape of the Empanada wrappers, as I was able to fill them a bit fuller than my “egg shaped football”. If I had more time, I would have taken the time to actually use a cardboard template or a regular football cookie cutter, but they definitely needed to be a bit larger than the ones I made. A larger version would be great for Super Bowl Sunday.
The recipe below is simple and easy. I started out with ground turkey, onions and garlic. I took a shortcut and used a package of taco seasoning but I prefer to use the cumin, cilantro etc from my spice cabinet. I added a can of green enchilada sauce and chopped green chiles. At the end I added in about a cup of grated cheese and that was my filling for the Empanadas. A nice, green chile based filling.
Below is the handy dandy printable recipe and it is for you to decide your preference for fillings. Some suggestions would be beef roast, pork roast, ground beef, chicken or a strictly veggie filling. What ever floats your boat. 😉
Have a great week!
- 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
- 1 # lb ground turkey or chicken
- 1 cup diced onion
- 2 large minced garlic cloves
- 1 package of taco seasoning
- 1 small can (4 oz) chopped green chiles
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1 can (10oz) Green Enchilada Sauce
- 1 cup shredded Cheddar or your favorite cheese
- 1 package of Empanada Wrappers (or you can use pie crust)
- 1 beaten egg with 1 tsp water to use for sealing the little pastries
- In a heavy skillet, brown the ground turkey with the onions and garlic (be sure to stir frequently to break up the turkey)
- Add the package of taco seasoning and the green chiles
- Mix well, cooking for about 5 minutes
- Add the can of green enchilada sauce and when it is incorporated, add the grated cheese
- Set aside
- Lay out the circular Empanada wrappers and fill the centers with about a tablespoon of filling (I used an ice cream scoop for exact amounts)
- Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the outer edges of the circle
- Using your fingers, fold over the inner edge to meet the outer edge and press with a fork to seal
- Place the Empanadas on a lightly greased cookie sheet or parchment paper and bake for about 10-15 minutes or until lightly browned
- Remove to a cooling rack until ready to serve
- You can make Guacamole, pica de gallo or a sour cream based sauce if desired. Or you can just pick them up and eat like a cookie.