I've noticed that the cuisines of South America and the Southern United States have certain similarities (love of beans, corn, and grilling for example). These empanadas are an excellent example of Southern-South American fusion (if there is such a thing). They're filled with sweet pulled pork BBQ, melted cheese, and a touch of creamy aji amarillo chile pepper sauce - a great combination of flavors.
- Prepare the empanada dough and let it rest for 1 hour, or overnight in the refrigerator.
- Mix the pork bbq, aji sauce and grated cheese together in a bowl.
- Divide the empanada dough into 18 pieces, and roll each one into a ball. Roll each ball of dough out into a 6 to 7 inch diameter circle, and let dough circles rest on the counter for 5 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350 F.
- Place 1 to 2 tablespoons of filling in the middle of a circle of dough, and fold dough over to make a half circle. Press the edges of the dough together firmly around the filling.
- Brush the pressed edge of the semicircle with a little bit of water, and fold the edge over itself, pinching and crimping as you go to make a braid-like effect. (See How to Fill and Shape Empanadas).
- Place the empanadas on a baking sheet, 1 to 2 inches apart.
- Mix the egg yolk with 1 tablespoon water and brush the mixture over the entire surface of each empanada.
- Bake the empanadas until they are golden golden brown and puffed, about 25 minutes.
- Serve warm or at room temperature. Store empanadas in the refrigerator. Empanadas can be wrapped in foil and reheated in the oven at 325 F for 10 minutes.
You can also make small, appetizer-size empanadas, by rolling dough into smaller circles.