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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr 11 min
  • Prep: 50 min
  • Inactive: 1 min
  • Cook: 20 min
  • Yield: about 3 dozen
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2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium onion, finely chopped

4 medium cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 pound ground turkey or chicken

1/3 cup raisins, finely chopped

1/3 cup finely chopped pitted green olives

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

Hot pepper sauce

2 large eggs

2 ounces Monterey Jack or Cheddar, grated (1/2 cup)

1 tablespoon heavy cream

All-purpose flour, for dusting

Empanada Dough, recipe follows

Empanada Dough:

3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon coarse salt

1 tablespoon sugar

6 tablespoons vegetable shortening

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled, cut into small pieces

10 tablespoons ice water


  1. Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, and cook until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add turkey, raisins, olives, and cumin; cook, breaking up meat with back of spoon, until turkey is cooked through and beginning to brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat, and let cool. Season with salt, pepper, and hot pepper sauce. Lightly beat 1 egg, and stir into the cooled meat mixture along with the cheese.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with a silpat or parchment paper. Make the egg wash: In a small bowl, lightly beat together remaining egg and the cream to make an egg wash; set aside. On a lightly floured surface and working with 1 piece of dough at a time, roll out dough about 1/16-inch thick. Using a 3 1/2-inch cookie cutter, cut out rounds, re-rolling the dough once. If the room is warm, keep rounds refrigerated so that they don't get too soft.
  3. Place a scant tablespoon of filling in center of 1 round. Use a finger or a pastry brush to brush a little of the egg wash onto the inner rim of the round. Fold the round in half, enclosing the filling and forming a half moon. Press edges to seal. Place on prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining rounds. Use a fork to create a crimped edge. Brush tops with egg wash, and bake until dough is golden, 15 to 20 minutes. Serve warm.

Empanada Dough:

Yield: About 4 dozen
  1. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, salt, and sugar. Add the vegetable shortening and the butter, and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal. With the machine running, slowly add the water through the feed tube, and pulse until a ball of dough forms. Divide dough into 2 pieces. Transfer to plastic wrap. Use hands to pat the dough into disks. Wrap dough with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 1 hour or overnight, until completely chilled.