This empanada recipe was first tried by a seventh grade Spanish class studying South America. This recipe is perfect for young people because it requires lots of chopping, grating, and rolling of dough, providing many jobs for everyone. Keeping with our efforts to recycle and re-use, we used plastic tops from yogurt containers as guides in cutting out the pastry rounds. These empanadas were a hands-down favorite with one and all.
Provided by Esther Cook's The Edible Schoolyard Chef.
1⅔ cups flour, plus extra for handling the dough
7 tablespoons melted butter
½ teaspoon salt
2-2½ tablespoons water, more as needed
2 large waxy (Yukon Gold, red) potatoes, peeled and cut into ¼-inch dice (¾ pounds)
6 scallions, white and light green parts only, washed and sliced into thin rings
2 green chilies (about 2 tablespoons), chopped fine
1 cup (4ounces) jack cheese, grated
½ teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl, stir in the butter and add enough water to form a soft but firm dough. Knead dough briefly, wrap in plastic wrap, and leave to rest for 30 minutes at room temperature.
• Cook diced potatoes in simmering water for 3 to 4 minutes. Drain well and let cool.
• Combine remaining filling ingredients in a mixing bowl, stir in the potatoes, and season with salt and pepper.
TO MAKE THE EMPANADAS
• Roll out dough on flour-dusted surface to ⅛-inch thick. Using a 5-inch saucer as a guide, cut out rounds. Knead and re-roll an trimmings.
• Place one tablespoon of filling on each round, a little off center. Dampen the edges of the pastry with a little water and fold in half, over the filling. Seal the edges by pressing them with the tines of a fork.
• Place empanadas on a sheet pan and bake at 425°F for 10 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. You can also brush them with melted butter just before baking. Serve hot.