|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Servings: 4 to 6|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 47g||61%|
|Saturated Fat 13g||66%|
|Total Carbohydrate 51g||19%|
|Dietary Fiber 2g||9%|
|Total Sugars 2g|
|Vitamin C 4mg||21%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
This recipe for empanadas is made with a delicious filling of shrimp, cheese, and Spanish-style tomato sauce. Feel free to change up this recipe with different flavored tomato sauces, Italian for instance, and by using different cheese blends, such as a Mexican four-cheese blend.
Directions are given for a homemade empanada dough, but it can be purchased in specialty markets in the form of frozen discs, usually 10 discs per pack. The number of empanadas made will depend on the size of dough rounds used.
Empanadas are ideal for appetizers, finger foods, lunches, and meals on the go. They also work well for family meals or get-togethers with such side dishes as fried plantains and black beans and rice, for instance.
"These empanadas are fantastic and so great to have on hand in the freezer for a quick meal. I've tried baking them but much prefer them fried, which makes the dough wonderfully rich and crispy. I've also made these without cheese and they're just as delicious. Opt for a chunky tomato sauce to keep the filling from being too watery." —Danielle Centoni
For the Empanada Dough:
1/2 cup cold water
1 large egg
1 large egg white
1 teaspoon vinegar
3 cups all-purpose flour, more as needed
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons shortening
For the Shrimp Filling:
Make the Dough
Gather the ingredients.
In a medium bowl, beat together the water, egg, egg white, and vinegar. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and salt.
Cut the shortening into the flour with a pastry blender or 2 butter knives.
Make a well in the center of the flour mixture, and pour the egg-vinegar mixture into the center.
Mix with a fork until a stiff dough forms.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until the dough is smooth.
Form the dough into a disc. Wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour (but never more than 24 hours). If you want to keep the dough longer than 24 hours, you can freeze it.
Make the Shrimp Filling
Gather the ingredients.
Pat the shrimp dry. Season lightly with salt and pepper to taste.
Place the shrimp into the saucepan with the tomato sauce.
Cook the shrimp, stirring often, until they turn pink, about 2 minutes. Do not overcook the shrimp because they will become rubbery.
Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the cheese. Cool completely before filling the empanadas.
Filling and Frying the Empanadas
Roll the empanada dough out on a floured surface to 1/8-inch thickness (you can cut the dough ball in half to make rolling more manageable).
Cut the dough with a round cookie or biscuit cutter. For large empanadas, use 6-inch cutters, and for smaller ones, use 3-inch cutters. Reroll the dough scraps. If the dough rounds shrink a bit, just roll them back to size individually before filling.
Place a heaping tablespoon of filling into the center of each dough round.
Fold the dough over the filling into a half-circle shape, and crimp the edges with a fork. If the edges won't stay sealed, you can dip the fork in water before crimping or use an egg wash. Do not overfill the empanadas. They will burst, and you will lose your filling in the oil.
Heat a few inches of oil in a heavy-duty large pot over medium heat until it reaches 375 F.
Fry the empanadas in batches to not crowd the pot, 1 to 2 minutes per side. They should be lightly golden. Drain on paper towels. Cool slightly before serving.
- Make sure the empanadas are sealed tightly so they don't break open and leak out all of the delicious filling.
- If frying, don't overcrowd them; work in batches so they can cook evenly.
- Instead of frying, the empanadas can be baked in a 375 F oven for 15 to 20 minutes until lightly golden. Pierce 2 or 3 small venting slits on the top of the empanadas, and use egg wash give them a golden color.
How to Store and Freeze
- If your empanadas are cooked, and there are any leftovers, wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and place them in the refrigerator, where they will keep for two to three days.
- Empanada dough can be made in advance and kept wrapped in the refrigerator for up to two days. Or freeze the dough, tightly wrapped, for up to three months. Defrost in the fridge overnight before rolling out and using.