The Firefly Tea: Spicy Empanaditas

If you’re from certain parts of the world, empanaditas are old friends but I remember the first time I ate one. It was at a state fair where I had many other tasty food choices. The empanaditas were my favorite though. It wasn’t until recently, with the recipe and help of my lovely Latina neighbor that I made them myself.

If you want to use already prepared pie crusts, no problem. Roll over them a bit to press the seams before using.

1 large cooked potato, chopped into small cubes
1/2 pound fresh Mexican chorizo (spicy pork sausage)
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped
2 teaspoon cilantro, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
Pastry dough for a 9 inch, 2-crust pie
1 egg, separated
2 tablespoons milk

Cook and stir the chorizo until browned, breaking up any large clumps. Drain but keep about 1 tablespoon fat in the pan with the sausage. Add the potato, onion, jalapeno pepper, salt and pepper. Cook until onion is softened, about ten minutes. Sprinkle with the cilantro.

Heat oven to 400º. Whisk egg white and 1 tablespoon milk together, reserve. Prepare pastry dough; gather into a ball. Divide into halves, flatten them into disks, wrap in plastic and let rest in the fridge for at least a half hour. On a lightly floured cloth covered surface, roll 1 round of pastry into a circle, about 14 inches in diameter. Cut into 11 or 12 circles, 3 1/2 inches in diameter.

Spoon 2 teaspoons beef mixture onto center of each circle; brush edge of pastry with egg mixture. Fold pastry circle up over filling; press edge with fork to seal. Place empanaditas on ungreased cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining round of pastry and filling. Gather any remaining pastry; shape into another round. Repeat rolling, cutting and filling.Beat egg yolk and remaining 1 tablespoon milk until well blended; brush over tops of empanaditas. Bake until golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Serve warm. About 34 empanaditas.