The holidays are my favorite time of the year because I get to spend quality time with my family. The fun part for me is baking and cooking up special treats for everyone. Every year my mother’s family gets together on Christmas Eve (or the weekend before) for a big celebration. Part of that is also a time to come together as a family and say the rosary together and enjoy a feast to celebrate Christmas. It’s always a fun time to get to spend with all the aunts, uncles and cousins. Our traditional meal every year is Menudo, Tamales and Barbacoa. While I look forward to these items every year, I always have to bring something new to the table.
Earlier this year I was at an event and one of the appetizers served was Spanakopita. I loved the creaminess of the melted cheese and immediately I knew I wanted to recreate this dish using some of my favorite Cacique® products. The Beef Chorizo and Cotija cheese pair beautifully with the spinach and flaky crust of the pie dough. The Cotija cheese crumbles perfectly to incorporate with the spinach to give this appetizer a creamy texture.
While our family is waiting to eat all of the traditional Mexican specialties on Christmas Eve, I will share these little bites of deliciousness with them to keep them tied over during the evening’s festivities. It’s the perfect appetizer for any get-together.
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WHAT YOU NEED
- 1 egg
- 1 – 9 oz package Cacique® Beef Chorizo
- 1 – 10 oz package Frozen Chopped Spinach, thawed and drained
- 1 – 10 oz package Cacique® Cotija Cheese
- 2 packages refrigerated pie dough (you will use 3 of the pie crusts)
- 1 tablespoon butter
HOW TO MAKE IT
- In a medium sauté pan, melt butter. Add Spinach and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain and let cool.
- In a separate pan, add Chorizo and cook for 5-7 minutes until cooked. Drain on a paper towel covered plate.
- Crumble cheese and add to cooled Spinach. Mix together.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Roll out pie dough on a floured surface. Using a 4 inch round cutter, cut 12 circles per pie dough (you will need to re-roll dough to get 12 out of each pie dough). Place a dollop of dough on one half of each round, leaving enough room to fold over the dough. Add Chorizo on top of the spinach mixture.
- Make egg wash by beating egg and 1 tsp of water together. Brush egg wash around edge of half of the circle of pie dough.
- Fold dough over to make a half moon shape. Pinch seams together to seal ends. Using a fork, go around the circle and seal the edges by pressing the fork down on the dough. Brush egg wash over the Empanadas. Place twelve empanadas per cookie sheet. Bake for 17-20 minutes.