Editor's Note: Craving some Spanish food that's warm, filling, and full of subtle spice? These Spanish Style Empanadas are a great way to satisfy those cravings in a pinch. The secret to getting this authentic Spanish recipe just right? Homemade dough. Yes, it does require a little bit of work, but this otherwise simple appetizer is so delicious, after one bite, you'll see that it's worth the work.
We always figured making homemade empanadas-flaky pastry wrapped around a filling—would be incredibly time-consuming. We were wrong. This simple pastry takes only minutes to make, and while it chills you can prepare the filling. These were inspired by a recipe that appeared on Epicurious.com from Gourmet magazine and they can be made a day ahead of time and baked just before serving. Be forewarned: Once you start eating these empanadas, it’s hard to stop!
Make Ahead RecipeYes
OccasionCocktail Party, Formal Dinner Party, Game Day
Recipe CourseAppetizer, Hors D'oeuvre
Dietary ConsiderationPeanut Free, Soy Free, Tree Nut Free
Taste and TextureCrisp, Hot & Spicy, Meaty, Spiced
- 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour, plus more for rolling the dough
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 stick unsalted butter (½ cup), cut into small pieces
- 1/3 cup ice-cold water
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
- 1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 5 ounces linguiça sausage, finely chopped (1 packed cup; see Notes)
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
- 1/2 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
- 1 large or 2 small Yukon gold potatoes (about 8 ounces), peeled and finely chopped
- Hot pepper sauce
- 1 large egg
- 1 1/2 tablespoon water
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- Freshly ground black pepper
To Make the Dough:
In a large bowl, sift together the flour and salt. Add the butter and, using your hands, work it into the dough until the flour mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Make a well in the center and add the water, egg, and vinegar. Mix well to make a smooth dough.
Place the dough on a lightly floured work surface and knead it for just a few minutes to form a flat rectangle. Wrap it in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to overnight.
Meanwhile, make the filling: In a large skillet, heat the oil over low heat. Add the onion and cook for 10 minutes, stirring every now and then. Add the linguiça and cook for 4 minutes, stirring. Add the oregano, and salt and pepper to taste. Add the bell peppers and potato, stir well, cover, and cook for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring every few minutes, or until the potato is almost tender. Add a generous splash of hot pepper sauce. Remove from the heat and let cool. The filling can be made a day ahead of time; cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
Cut the dough in half and then cut each half into 6 equal pieces. You should have 12 pieces. Working on a lightly floured surface, roll out one of the pieces into a 5- to 6-inch circle. Place 2 heaping tablespoons of the filling into the center of the circle. Fold the dough in half to enclose the filling and press the edges together to seal. You may need to dab the edges with a touch of water before folding to help them adhere. Place the empanada on a baking sheet. Use a fork to make decorative tine prints into the sealed edges. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling, placing 6 empanadas on a baking sheet.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
How to Make the Glaze:
In a small bowl, whisk the egg with the water, oregano, and salt and pepper to taste.
Using a pastry brush or the back of a spoon, lightly brush the top of each empanada with the glaze.
Place the baking sheets on 2 shelves and bake for 10 minutes. Reverse the baking sheets so the empanadas cook evenly and bake for another 10 minutes, or until the tops of the pastries are a pale golden brown.
Let cool for a few minutes and serve hot or at room temperature.
Linguiça is a slightly spicy Portuguese-style sausage. You can also use chorizo or a spicy Italian sausage.
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2010 Jonathan King, Jim Stott, Kathy Gunst