1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 small green bell pepper, chopped
1 pound ground beef
1 teaspoon ground cumin
3/4 cup pimiento-filled green olives, sliced
3/4 cup raisins
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Several dashes hot sauce
2 large eggs, separated
1 Cream Cheese Pastry Dough (recipe follows)
- To make the filling, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and bell pepper. Saute until the onion is translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Raise the heat to high and add the beef. Cook, stirring constantly to brown, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the cumin and cook for another minute.
- Stir in the olives, raisins, honey, salt, pepper, and hot sauce. Cook until the meat is golden brown and the liquid has evaporated, about 4 more minutes. Cool the mixture completely in the fridge. Stir in the egg whites.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter or line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- To form the empanadas, work with half of a disk of dough at a time, rolling out on a floured surface. Using an overturned bowl (about 5 inches across), cut out circles about 3 or 4 at a time from each piece of dough. Gather all dough scraps together, reroll once, and cut. Place 1/4 cup filling on one side of a dough circle. Wet the edges of the dough with water. Fold the dough over to form a half circle. Pinch the edges of the dough together. Crimp the edges with a fork. Repeat the process until all the filling is used. Note: The empanadas can be frozen at this point.
- Place the empanadas on the prepared baking sheet and chill for a few minutes. Prick each pie on top twice with a fork. When ready to bake, beat the egg yolks with 1 tablespoon water. Brush the egg wash over each empanada. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving. Note:The empanadas can be cooled and frozen after this step too and reheated in a microwave.
Cream Cheese Pastry Dough
Makes enough for 10-12 empanadas
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4″ pieces
6 ounces cold cream cheese, cut into small pieces
3 – 4 Tablespoons ice water
Combine flour and salt in a food processor, pulse to blend. Add butter and cream cheese, pulse until pea-size clumps form.
With the machine running, add ice water one tablespoon at a time until the mixture comes together when pressed between your fingers. Divide dough into 2 pieces, and shape each piece into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 45 minutes.