Updated Tuesday, August 7th, 2007
Total Time: 55
Yield: 12 empanadas
Make these empanadas -- a Central and South American favorite -- ahead of time and freeze them, or bake them to order. This recipe makes portions that work well as a hearty first course or a small lunch, but you can make them even smaller and serve them as one-bite cocktail snacks.
In a medium sauté pan, warm oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook until it begins to soften, about 5 minutes. Add beef, breaking it into small pieces while stirring, and cook about 5 minutes. Add raisins, garlic, aji, salt, paprika, cumin, and olives. Sauté, stirring often, until meat cooks through, about 5 minutes. Add chopped egg and set aside.
In a small bowl or measuring cup, combine flour and water. Pour into pan mixture and cook 1 to 2 minutes to thicken. Remove from heat and bring to room temperature.
Heat oven to 425°. Cut dough in half and refrigerate other half until ready to use. On a lightly floured work surface, roll dough out to 1/8-inch thickness. Using a 4- to 5-inch round cutter, cut dough into circles. Place 1-1/2 tablespoons meat filling onto one half of dough round. Dip your finger in water and run along the outer edge of the dough. Fold dough in half and press edges together gently to seal. Crimp edges with a fork or with your fingers as you would a piecrust. Repeat with remaining dough and filling.
Brush empanadas with egg whites. Place on a baking sheet and bake 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown.
In a standing mixer or by hand, combine ingredients just until a soft dough comes together. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least 30 minutes. (You may also freeze dough.)
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