I just love little stuffed things. Every culture has a little stuffed bit of dough, filled with a little bit of seasoned meat and veggies that is always something truly amazing when you get to eat it. I hope that everyone on the whole planet has at least one food memory of sinking their teeth into a hot little pocket of love, whether it’s their favorite aunt’s samosas, or grandmas dumplings or their dad’s holiday peirogi. When I think about all the wonderful things that my family made on special occasions, it’s always my Dad’s Chinese pot-stickers and my Grandma’s inari sushi. Also, I’m so thankful to the wonderful cooking teachers I’ve had that have shared their recipes and traditions with me along the way.
When I have days off, I like to try to take some time to make something nice for the hubby and I to have for dinner. What truer expression of love is there than choosing to spend your time to make an extra special meal for an extra special someone? I let him think that it’s all for him and that I’m simply an amazing wife, but the truth is that I like tasty little treats from time to time too! :)
Letting my stockpile in my chest freezer guide my meal planning, I had some chorizo that I wanted to use up. A little toodling around online lead me to the idea for making some empanadillas with it and here’s what I came up with. Hope you like it!
Chorizo Empanadillas – served with rice and refried beans and avocado sauce
Serves 4-6 – cost approx $1.50 per serving, including sides
Makes approx 17 empanadas – cost approx $4.50 per batch
***Just a little side note here. This was my first go at this recipe and there was about 1/3 cup left over filling. If I were doing this over, I would increase my dough recipe by about 50% to use up all the filling. Or you could use it for something else, like a breakfast burrito, some pupusas, put it over some rice for a nice little lunch…***
- 1/2 lb Mexican chorizo ($1)
- 1 onion, small dice ($.33)
- 1/2 bell pepper, whatever color you like best ($.25)
- 1 jalapeno pepper, minced, optional ($.25)
- 1/2 cup corn kernels – fresh or frozen, use whatever you have around ($.25)
- garlic salt, to taste
- 2 green onions, minced ($.18)
- 1 cup/4 oz shredded mild cheese – any type of mild cheddar, jack or pepper jack would be nice. I used a ‘Mexican Cheese Blend’ that I got on sale ($.63)
- 2 cups all purpose flour ($.22)
- 1/2 cup masa harina or corn flour ($.08)
- 1 stick/ 4 oz butter, cold, cubed ($.62)
- 4 oz lard, cold, cubed – you could use shortening if lard creeps you out… ($.43)
- 1 tsp salt
Preheat the oven to 350F.
Start by browning the chorizo over medium heat in a saute pan. When some of the fat starts to render out, add in the onion, bell pepper and jalapeno. Saute for 5 minutes. Add in the corn and green onions. Add garlic salt to taste. That’s all there is to the filling!
For the dough, make it however you like to make your pie dough. I did the food processor ‘dump everything in’ method. Just pulse until the flour and fats have come together then drizzle in cold water until it just comes together. Give the dough (literally) one or two kneads so that it comes together. Keep in the fridge until you’re ready to use it.
Roll out the dough on a floured surface. I went pretty thin, inbetween 1/8″ and 1/4″. Cut out circles about 4″-6″ in diameter. You can use a large mug or a small bowl (or a large biscuit or cookie cutter would be the best tool, but I don’t have one…) to trace out the circles. Fill with a heaping tablespoon of chorizo filling and a good pinch of cheese. Fold over and crimp the edges with a fork. Poke some vent holes in the tops with a fork. I sprinkled a little bit of leftover cheese on the top, just to be all decadent and stuff. (Here is where you could freeze them for later if you wanted.)
Bake at 350 F for 30-45 minutes or until hot, golden and delicious.