Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Olive and Chorizo Empanadas

I'm a messy cook. Yes, that's right. I'd like you to think that I'm the picture of organisation in the kitchen, cleaning as I go. I'd love to tell you (and for it to be true), that when I'm finished using a dish, I immediately wash it and put it away and that my benches are always clear of clutter... My husband would love that too. But the truth is, when I'm cooking, the kitchen looks like a bomb site and there's a haze of flour blurring the air. When I'm done cooking, I look at my kitchen - every dish I own out on the counter, cook books spread as far as the eye can see and food spilled on every surface and think, if there were an Olympic event for mess-making I'd be a shoe in for Gold. But then, my long suffering sweet husband comes along and together we start the epic task of restoring order to the kitchen. Every dish is washed and put away and the benches are scrubbed until they sparkle. For a short while it looks like a normal kitchen...until tomorrow when it all happens again.

Olive and Chorizo Empanadas
from Lisa Fain's The Homesick Texan Cookbook
Makes 16

For the Pastry:
250g cream cheese, room temperature
115g unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups plain flour
1/2 teaspoon salt

For the Filling:
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
400g chorizo, removed from it's casing
1/2 cup grated Colby cheese
1/4 cup pitted black olives, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 jalapeno chile, seeds and stems removed, diced
2 tablespoons chopped coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
salt and black pepper, to taste

For the Empanadas:
1 large egg
2 tablespoons milk
sesame seeds for sprinkling
salsa, for dipping

Make the Crust:
In the bowl of an electric mixer, mix together the cream cheese and butter on medium speed until smooth. Turn the speed to low and add salt. Then flour half a cup at a time until a smooth dough is formed. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Make the Filling: 
Meanwhile, heat the vegetable oil in a large frying pan on medium-low heat. Crumble the chorizo into the pan. While occasionally stirring, cook the chorizo until it's done, about 7 to 10 minutes. Drain the excess fat and in a bowl mix the cooked chorizo with the grated cheese, black olives, garlic, diced jalapeno, cilantro, and cumin. Taste and add salt and black pepper.

Make the Empanadas: 
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C and lightly grease two baking sheets. Take the dough out of the refrigerator and divide it into 16 equal portions. Shape each portion into a ball and then roll it out into a circle of about 12cm in diameter.

To Assemble: 
Divide the filling equally between the pastry putting it in the center of each dough circle and fold the dough to the other side so it forms a half-moon shape. Crimp the edges with a fork to seal.

For the Topping: 
Whisk together the egg and milk. Brush this on top of the empanadas and then sprinkle the empanadas with sesame seeds. Bake for 25 minutes or until top is browned. Serve with salsa on the side for dipping.


  1. Oh my god, I so want to eat these. Looks fabulous!

    (Here is another messy cook. :-) Nowadays I don't enter the kitchen without wearing an apron.)

  2. Delicious!!!! Yum!!! oh yes, definitely a messy cook here! I use way too many bowls etc. And if I use brown sugar, there is always plenty of it on the counters and the floor. sigh.