Turkey Empanadas

These empanadas were fairly easy to make. I substituted 1 cup of wheat flour for 1 cup of white flour, so I added a little extra water. You could make fillings with other kinds of ground meat or even shredded meat. You could also add ingredients to the filling like cheese, bell peppers, mushrooms.

The original recipe was for appetizers and made 24 empanadas, which you could still do. I wanted to use these as a main meal and made 12 larger ones. You can bake these right away or freeze them and bake them later on.

Ingredients and directions

Cooking spray
1 lbs. ground turkey
2 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup water
1 (6 oz) can no-salt-added tomato paste
1 clove garlic, minced

1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.
2. Coat pan with cooking spray and add turkey, brown turkey, stirring to crumble (about 5 minutes).
3. Drain fat from turkey
4. Add to turkey: chili powder, cumin, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper. Cook about 1 minute, stirring frequently.
5. Stir in 1 cup of water and tomato paste, cook until thickened (about 2 minutes). Remove from heat (if you choose to add cheese you would add it now) and let cool to room temperature.

3 cups all purpose flour* I used 2 cups all purpose and 1 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup chilled butter, cut into small pieces
3/4 cup ice water * (If you substitute 1 cup of the all purpose flour with whole wheat you will need to add 3 tablespoons more of water)

Preheat oven to 400F (if you are cooking the empanadas right away)
1. Spoon flour into a measuring cup and level with a knife.
2. Combine flour, baking powder, sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon salt into a food processor; pulse 2 times or until combined.
3. Add chilled butter; pulse until mixture is course crumbles (pulse about 4-5 times)
4. With the processor on, add 3/4 ice water (3 extra tablespoons if using 1 cup wheat flour) through the food chute. Process until just combined (don’t form a ball).
5. Turn the dough onto a floured surface (use all-purpose flour), using floured hands knead lightly, four times
6. Divide dough into the number of portions of empanadas you want to make (I made 12).
7. Working with each portion of dough at a time (make sure to cover the rest of the dough or it will dry out) roll dough out into 6 inch circles (smaller or larger depending on number of empanadas you are making).
8. Spoon about 2 tablespoons of the turkey mixture on half of the circle.
9. Fold dough over filling, and press edges over to seal.
10. Use fork to crimp the edges.

11. Repeat with the rest of the dough and filling.
12. If baking right away, spray cookie sheet with cooking spray, and bake for 20 minutes or until bottom is golden brown OR if freezing wrap each empanada with plastic wrap and freeze on a cookie sheet until firm. Place empanadas in a plastic bag. These can be frozen up to 3 months. To cook frozen empanadas: Place frozen empanadas on cookie sheet, coated in cooking spray and cook for 30 minutes in 400F oven.

Source: Adapted from Cooking Light Magazine

Serve with sour cream and black bean and tomato salad.

Lindsay Lou

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