Sweet & Savory Empanadas with Queso Fresco
WHAT YOU NEED
- 1 lb. flour
- ½ tsp. salt
- ½ lb. butter, chilled and cut into small cubes, plus 2 Tbsp. butter
- 1 egg
- 1 cup ice water
- ½ cup white onion, small dice
- 1 bunch spinach, roughly chopped
- 1 package (10 oz.) Cacique® Queso Fresco, crumbled
- 1 package (10 oz.) Cacique® Queso Cotija, crumbled
- ½ cup chopped toasted almonds
- ½ cup golden raisins
- Egg wash (1 egg beaten with 2 tablespoons water)
- Salt and pepper to taste
HOW TO MAKE IT
- In a large mixing bowl, combine flour and salt. With a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in the ½ pound of chilled butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add egg. Slowly add water, as needed, mixing to form the dough, until well blended.
- Turn the dough out onto a sheet of plastic wrap and knead gently until the dough becomes smooth, only a few seconds. Wrap the dough well in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes. (Note: Empanada dough can also be found at a Hispanic market in the frozen section or substitute puff pastry).
- For filling: Over medium heat, sauté onion in 2 tablespoons of butter for 5 minutes, then add spinach and continue to cook for 5 more minutes. Drain any liquid there may be in the pan. Cool and then combine with cheeses, almonds and raisins.
- For assembly: On a lightly floured surface, roll half the chilled dough to 1/8-inch thick (keep the other half refrigerated until ready to use). Cut out 3-inch circles. Spoon about 1 heaping spoonful of the filling into the center of each circle. Brush egg wash around the edges of the dough. Fold the edges up forming a pouch, and seal.
- Refrigerate the empanadas on greased or parchment-lined baking sheets at least 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375°F. Brush the empanadas with egg wash and bake until golden brown for about 25 minutes.