“Empanadas” or “Quesadillas” are a delicious snack which can be eaten any day. They can be filled with a variety of fillings from farmer fresh cheese, squash flowers, potatoes, ground meat, shrimp, chicken, etc.
If you visit Mexico City or any small town, you will not have trouble finding a stand serving a variety of delicious empanadas. You can invite friends for a casual dinner any evening and present them with these empanadas. Believe me, they will not be disappointed!
Today’s empanadas are filled with “Tinga Poblana”, but you can also use fresh Mexican cheese, shredded cooked chicken, shrimp or cooked ground meat. Fillings vary from region to region, so here you can be creative and set your imagination free. I saved some of the “Tinga Poblana” from last week to cook these empanadas because the flavor of corn dough complements them very well.
Actually, the main reason for making this empanadas with “Tinga Poblana” is because I remember eating them in a small restaurant with tables and chairs outdoors. No, I am not talking about a fancy Paris-like restaurant, I’m talking about a run down place with ugly plastic furniture with good cheap food. The dough is very crispy and the Tinga is really flavorful. Enjoy!
For 12 Empanadas
2 cups of masa harina
1-¼ cups of warm water (amount may vary depending on air humidity and other wheatear conditions).
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 pieces of round plastic cut out from a bag. (freezer bags are ideal for this purpose).
2 cups of filling ( cooked chicken, ground meat or grated cheese) Note: Filling must be cold to keep the dough in shape.
2 cups of shredded lettuce
1 avocado diced
about 1 1/2 cup of vegetable oil for frying
1. Prepare the dough in a bowl, mixing the masa harina, salt and warm water to form a ball, knead dough until smooth. Divide the dough in 12 balls, and flatten and slightly cover with plastic wrap. Set aside.
2. Place one ball of dough between two pieces of plastic and press using a tortilla press, a heavy skillet or a dish. I know, you have seen the tortilla press, but somehow I love to use my glass dishes for this step. So, do not be afraid, use whatever you have.
Remove the top piece of plastic and spoon some of the stuffing onto the tortilla. Leaving enough room to seal the edges.
Using the piece of plastic fold the dough over to make a half moon shape turn over. Pinch the edges, making sure they seal to avoid any leaking of the mixture while frying. Remove the empanada from the plastic set aside on a large plate or tray and cover with a plastic wrap. Keep working with the rest of the dough making the empanadas.
Heat the oil in a skillet at high heat. Its frying time!
Deep fry the empanadas one or two at a time until golden brown.
About 2 minutes on each side. Drain on paper towels. Serve hot topped with lettuce and avocado. Eat them adding some salsa. After that, take a long walk.
And what do you put inside your empanadas? Please, let us know.