Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Empanadas - the sequel!

Last week I was on the hunt for recipes for Cinco de Mayo, and I ended up making turkey empanadas.  I think they are basically what Americans call hand pies.  Mmm, something a bit grubby about that name:)  I am picturing somewhat unspeakable things with small pies and hands and placing them into unspeakably lurid spots -  whoops sorry did I go off on a tangent there?  Back to the empanadas.  Along the way I found lots of interesting Mexican recipes including one in Thomasina Miers' book Mexican Food Made Simple.  Now I have to say not only does this recipe sound simple, it sounds kind of weird!  I think we all deserve to know just how weird, so I have done the decent thing and made them for you, folks.  These ham and cheese empanadas may not sound very Mexican, but they are tasty little devils. Empanadas are eaten as street food in the big cities, so while you may not find this variety all over Mexico, you would definitely find regular versions on street stalls at festivities like this.  Thomasina declares that she bought this very sort in the city of Veracruz from an 80 year old lady so we can rest assured that yes indeed Mexicans do eat them (or maybe just gullible tourists?)

File:Mexicans Festival.JPG
(Author Nativehome - public domain)     


3 tbs mayonnaise
1 tsp Dijon mustard - (I used my own home-made grain mustard)
1-2 green chillies finely diced
a splash of Tabasco sauce
salt and pepper to taste
200g Cheddar or tasty cheese, grated
150g ham, chopped
frozen puff pastry - 3 sheets, thawed
1 egg, beaten


Pre-heat your oven to 200C
Grab a medium bowl, and mix the mayo and mustard together
Add in the chillies, Tabasco, and salt and pepper to taste
Throw in the cheese and ham, and stir it all together
Cut out either 10 circles of 12cm diameter or you can just as easily cut out squares (Thomasina said to cut out 8 circles, but I found I needed more, and squares made more sense at that point)
Place a heaped tablespoon of the filling into the middle of the circles (or squares!)
Brush the beaten egg around the edges
Fold half the pastry over the filled bit
Press the edges down with a fork, or fold and twist into pleated little edges with your fingers
Brush them with the egg, and make a couple of tiny slits in the tops
Bake for 10 minutes
Turn the oven down to 180C and bake for a further 10 mins or till golden

I used a red and a green jalapeno cos we like it hot:)    

chopped ham (sunlight was streaming thru my kitchen window)  

ingredients all ready to mix  

cheese and ham going in 

mixed and ready to go into the empanadas 

cutting out the circles  

heaping on the filling  

brushing on the egg 

folding them over 

crimping the edges 

more crimping  

egg-washed and ready for baking 

this is what happened!

looking pretty tasty after all!

Okay so here is what I did wrong.  I used a crumbly cheddar cheese - too soft!  I figured it might be, so take my advice and use a firm cheddar.  Secondly, I did not slit the tops.  My bad!  They still taste damn fine.   Really salty and cheesy, with a slight chilli bite.  They are remarkably quick and easy to make, and really moreish.  I had to hide them from myself so there were some left for Mr P.  So who knows if they are authentically Mexican, but who cares?  Delicious wherever they come from:)


  1. Hehe you are funny the way your mind went Sherry! And mayo is an interesting ingredient! :D

    1. I agree Lorraine. Mayo for goodness sake! But it tastes good. :)

  2. Oh, I do love empanadas and these look fabulous - Sherry.

    1. hi rachel
      they were really nice. i was a bit surprised to tell the truth cos it sounded a weird combo.:)

  3. I'm glad you shared your little mistake with us Sherry - it's a warning for the rest of us. Yes, ham and cheese doesn't sound very authentic but Thomasina knows here stuff. Anthony and I visited her restaurant 'Wahaca' near Covent Garden some years back. We didn't know who she was (former Masterchef competitor) - we just liked the look of the venue!

    1. I have always liked thomasina. I loved her tv shows and her great gappy smile.

  4. Uuuuh, they look delicious! I can almost smell them, hot out of the oven.

  5. So many different kinds of food out there! It reminds of a range of meat pies. Lovely pictures ... looks really yummy. #aNoviceMumCommentLuv

    1. thanks so much. we really enjoyed eating them:)


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