End of Summer Empanadas

There are mere hours left of summer – according to the calendar, that is. But I’m going to keep eating tomatoes and corn until I explode or they disappear entirely from the produce section. Only time will tell. End of Summer Empanadas are perfect to make and enjoy with friends along with some cool drinks.

If you need one last summer veggie hurrah, I suggest you run out and grab some now (just in case the calendar is right and they all disappear tomorrow at 4:44 EST)!

empanadas baked

Let me know when you get back, and I can tell you all about these empanadas that let the best flavors from this soon-to-be-gone season really shine!

corn cobs

Back already? That was fast. I’m impressed!

Now that you presumably have some great produce sitting on your countertop, let’s talk empanadas. For me, these fall under the “If I’m gonna make them, I’m making ALLLL of them” category. They take a bit of time, you know? So if you’re going to be rolling out all this dough and folding up all these little pies, you might as well make a crazy amount and leave yourself a ready-to-bake stash of instant empanadas in the freezer!

tomatoes

I also apply this bulk food making logic to pot stickers, pancakes, waffles, crepes and really anything that would be easier to make with an army of assembly elves.

For this recipe, in addition to assembling a few dozen empanadas without an army of elves, I decided to grind my own pork. This is totally optional and not something I do with great frequency, but if you have a meat grinder I highly recommend breaking it out. Freshly ground pork has such an amazing texture! It can’t be beat.

meat in stand mixer

Once your meat is ground and browned, the rest is as simple as cooking some summerlicious veggies in the same pan, putting on some good music and getting to assembling. Maybe you could invite a friend over! Put them to work! Make it an event!

empanadas in baking sheet

Of course, you’ll need to feed your friend once the empanadas are done. You have to make it worth their while. It’s a fair trade, I say!

And plus, if you made a large batch you’ll have plenty to share!

 

END OF SUMMER EMPANADAS RECIPE

empanadasIf you’re grinding your own pork for this recipe, you’ll want to start with boneless pork shoulder. Cut it into cubes and freeze for about 10 minutes before grinding, it makes for a much easier grinding process.

INGREDIENTS

  • Vegetable oil
  • 1 1/4 pounds ground pork
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 2 poblano peppers, diced
  • 2 ears corn, kernels cut off cob
  • 2 medium ripe heirloom tomatoes, diced
  • 1 jalapeño, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ~1 cup shredded monterrey jack cheese
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Empanada dough, recipe follows

METHOD

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a large pan over medium high heat. Add the ground pork and cook until browned. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to a plate.
  2. Lower the heat to medium and add another tablespoon of oil to the pan. Add the onion, season with salt and cook for a few minutes, until softened. Add the poblanos and corn kernels; cook for a few more minutes. Add the tomatoes, jalapeño, garlic and a big pinch of salt, stirring until the tomatoes start to release their juices. Add the chili powder, coriander, cumin and oregano, stir for a minute and remove from the heat. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed.
  3. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F and line two baking sheets with parchment. Remove a disk of dough from the fridge and cut into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece out to a 5-6″ circle. Place some of the filling in the center of each circle (I used a scant standard ice cream scoop). Top with a generous pinch of cheese and fold the circle in half, pinching the edge to close. Transfer folded empanadas to a baking sheet. Repeat with the second disc of dough.
  4. Brush the empanadas with the beaten egg and sprinkle the tops with flaky salt. Bake for about 30 minutes, until the tops are golden brown.

YIELDS

24 large empanadas

You can freeze formed, unbaked empanadas on a sheet pan before transferring to a freezer bag for longer storage. They’re ready to bake straight from the freezer, just don’t forget the egg wash and finishing salt!

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EMPANADA DOUGH

INGREDIENTS

METHOD

  1. Sift flour and salt into a large bowl. Work the butter into the flour using your fingers or a pastry blender until it resembles a coarse meal.
  2. In a separate bowl, beat together the eggs, water and vinegar. Stir into the dry mixture just until it’s incorporated.
  3. Flour your hands and the work surface. Lightly knead the dough a few times, cut it in half, and form into two flat discs. Wrap each disc in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
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