A delicious Party Appetizer or a Savory Bake Sale Item
One of my favorite finger-food to serve for get-togethers is: Mexican Empanadas! Crisp empanada dough is perfect medium to fill any savory or sweet filling of your choice. Once you have made the dough, you can go all creative with the fillings!
You will find a lot of recipes with Sweet Empanada filling. I'm, however, obsessed with serving, savory empanadas, in parties. I generally make a large batch of dough and then fill 2-3 kinds of fillings to suit everyone's taste. Like a few spicy for adults, a few mild for kids, and some sweet for everyone!
Empanada dough freezes very well. And recipe given below makes a lot of dough. So, you can freeze a portion of dough to use later. If you don't want to make your own dough, you can buy some from your local Hispanic Food Market. It is mostly available in frozen food isle.
Or you can also skip both and use puff pastry dough to make empanadas. Since these empanadas are baked and not fried, any of the suggested dough will work great.
Today, for the filling, I have used some sweet and savory ingredients. Like goat cheese for creamy tangy bite, vegan spicy Italian sausage for meaty texture and golden raisins to bring some sweetness to the party. Even though these are not traditional Mexican ingredients, but they pair very well together and buttery empanada crust compliments the flavor very well!
I made this filling for a recent Tex-Mex party and my friends really loved it!!
Bake Sale: These empanadas are also great for a savory bake sale. I often make variation of empanadas for my apartment community bake sale. Where everyone tends to bring sweet cup cakes and cookies, my empanadas are only savory dish and they sell like "hot commodity" :) I'm sure your community will be very pleased, if you bake these savory empanadas, for your next bake sale.
For dipping, I served my empanadas with a quick variation of salsa sauce. You can ready this sauce in moment's notice. All you need is some store bought salsa and couple of fresh ingredients! Check the recipe below!
I hope you will like this recipe as much as my friends did! Try it and Do let me know! -Savita
Some more finger-food appetizers from my recipe collection:
- 1. For dough - In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, nigella seeds (if using) and salt. With a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in the ½ pound of chilled butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add egg and slowly add water, as needed, mixing to form the dough, until well blended. Turn the dough out onto a sheet of plastic wrap and knead gently until the dough becomes smooth, only a few seconds. Wrap the dough well in plastic wrap and leave in refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes. Additional Notes: Empanada dough can also be found at a Hispanic market Or in Whole Foods Market's Frozen Food Section. Thaw it according to wrapper instructions.
- 2. Over medium heat, sauté onion in 2 tablespoons of butter for 5 minutes, then add spinach and continue to cook for 5 more minutes. Cool and then combine with cheeses, sausage, cranberries and raisins.
- 3. On a lightly floured surface, roll half the chilled dough to 1/8-inch thick (keep the other half refrigerated until ready to use). Cut out 3-inch circles. Spoon about 1 heaping spoonful of the filling into the center of each circle. Brush egg wash around the edges of the dough. Fold the edges up forming a pouch, and seal. Refrigerate the empanadas on greased or parchment-lined baking sheets at least 30 minutes.
- 4. Preheat oven to 375°F. Brush the empanadas with egg wash and bake until golden brown for about 22-25 minutes.
- 5. For Tomato Sauce, in food processor jar add all ingredients and pulse until pureed. Taste and adjust salt and pepper. Serve chilled with hot empanadas!
Savita's Notes:You can change a couple of ingredients in these savory empanadas, like I have used goat cheese (personal favorite) but you can use Mexican Queso Fresco instead. You can also replace vegan sausage with a regular spicy chicken sausage extra spicy and meaty taste.
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