The name “empanada” is a Spanish word that means “to wrap or cover in bread.” An "empanadita" is a mini empanada. I have always really liked pastries wrapped around a filling, whether sweet or savory. So I decided to give create my own recipe. I actually ended up doing both sizes. The empanadita is perfect for an appetizer, and the empanada for an entree. I experimented with a few spices, and I would give it about a 6 out of 10 on the heat scale. I used Pillsbury All Ready pie crust, but you could make the dough from scratch if you wanted to.
1 lb ground chuck
1 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
1 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp paprika
1 tsp cumin
2 tsp chili powder
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup sour cream
1 pkg (2 crusts) Pillsbury All Ready pie crust
Brown ground chuck with bell pepper and onion until beef is browned and vegetables are tender. Drain on paper towels. In a medium bowl, combine the meat mixture with the remaining ingredients.
Roll out pie crust with a floured rolling pin. For the empaniditas, cut with a 2" biscuit cutter. For the empanadas, roll out a small amount of dough. Place a small amount of filling on half the dough and fold over. (See photo below) Brush with an egg wash. (1 tsp water and 1 whole egg, lightly beaten).
Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve with salsa, if desired.
Finely chop onion and bell pepper:
Brown ground chuck, onion and bell pepper together:
Combine remaining ingredients:
For empanaditas, cut with a biscuit cutter:
For the empanadas, I rolled out a small amount of dough:
Then placed the filling inside and folded it over:
I was in a hurry, and wasn't really worried about the edges being perfect when I rolled it out, so I trimmed them with scissors. Then I brushed them with an egg wash and placed them on a greased cookie sheet:
I served them with homemade salsa and my version of Spanish rice.