<p>Empanadas are the unifying thread of Latin America. You are likely to find many versions of these half moon shaped pastries in almost every country. This version calls for baked empanadas instead of fried and they are filled with a cheese potato and garlic mixture. These empanadas are perfect as an appetizer, an after school snack or even served as an easy lunch with a side of greens.</p><p> </p>
- DOUGH: 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour plus more for dusting; 1/2 cup fine cornmeal; 1 tsp salt; 6 TBSP butter, melted; 3/4 cup plain, unsweetened greek yogurt, ; 2 TBSP orange zest; 2 tsp thyme leaves; 2-3 TBSP warm milk or water; 1 egg, beaten
- FILLING: 1 cup Sargento® Shredded 4 Cheese Mexican Natural Cheese; 2 medium yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cooked; 2 lg garlic cloves grated; 2 tsp kosher salt; 1 egg; 2 juicy limes, cut into wedges for serving
1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, corn flour, and salt. Add the melted butter and mix with a fork. Add the yogurt, orange zest and thyme. Mix to combine. At this point you will have flour that has not been incorporated to the wet ingredients. Add the water, 1 Tablespoon at a time, and using your hands, incorporate all ingredients until you can form a smooth ball. Divide the dough into two pieces. Reserve the piece you will use later in a bowl covered with a moist heavy duty paper towel so it doesn't dry up.
2. On a floured surface, extend half of the dough with a rolling pin, pressing from the center out until it reaches a thickness of ⅛”. Cut disks, close to one another using a 4” metal cookie cutter or drinking glass. Place the discs on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and cover with a moist paper towel.
3. Form a ball with the leftover pieces of dough and extend again with a rolling pin and repeat the same steps for cutting out the dough. (NOTE: The second time you extend the dough, you will notice that it is more rubbery and a little harder to work with. Also, when you cut it out, you will notice the discs will spring back a bit and will be a bit smaller than the first round.) Place the dough discs on the lined baking sheet, cover with the moist paper towel, and get the second piece of dough that you reserved in the bowl and repeat the steps. You should have about 16 discs
Placed cooked potatoes in a medium bowl. Mash with a fork into a smooth puree. Stir in the cheese, garlic, salt and egg. Stir to combine in to a homogenous mixture.
- Assemble and Bake: Pre-heat the oven to 375F.
1. Place a spoonful of the filling on the middle of each empanada disc. Make sure to not overfill. Damp the edge of the disk with a bit of water and then fold over into a half moon shape. Using a for press the edges to seal. Place each empanada on the prepared baking sheets.
2. Brush with beaten egg and bake until golden for 18 to 20 minutes.
3. Serve warm with lime wedges.