My friends Lili and David had a housewarming party a few weeks ago. Lili was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina and moved to the U.S. as a child. Her party menu reflected her roots and consisted of:
Classic Argentine Empanadas — beef with Chimichurri Sauce
Spinach Cheese Empandas - spinach and mozzarella,
Southwestern Empanadas - sweet potatoes and black beans
Kale, Carrot, and Avocado Salad
Alfajores - butter cookies with dulce de leche filling
How good does that sound? Everything was delicious. I complimented her on the empanadas and asked for her recipes. She kindly shared her favorite secret for easy empanadas...purchased dough! She told me that many people in Argentina now buy their dough instead of making from scratch because there are multiple, high-quality manufacturers producing delicious, light and flaky dough. She then gave me three packages of Goya brand Tapas para Empanadas (dough for turnover pastries), which she buys in bulk from a favorite store when she visits Texas, and invited me to develop recipes of my own. What a fun project!
Empanadas are like hand pies. Round discs of dough stuffed with savory or sweet fillings, folded in half, crimped to keep everything encased in the dough and then fried or baked. Frying is more traditional, but Lili recommends baking for taste, ease and health. It is also easier to make large quantities for parties if you are baking versus frying the empanadas. They are perfect for appetizers or first courses. Paired with a salad they make a satisfying lunch or light supper. Add a sweet filling and dessert is served. (I am going to experiment with a salted caramel apple version.)
I came up with many different options...anything that would be good in a sweet pie, of course, would be good and classic tamale, egg roll, dumpling, turnover, calzone and samosa recipes are a good start. (Isn't it interesting that just about every culture has a version of a filled fried dough recipe?). Today I imagined a filling of roasted Brussels sprouts with caramelized onions, garlic and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese paired with a mustard dipping sauce. We loved the result...this recipe is a keeper. I think Lili would be proud...
Roasted Brussels Sprouts Empanadas with Mustard-Cream Sauce
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
2 shallots, peeled
6 green onions, chopped
1/2 cup parmigiano-reggiano, shredded
1 package (12 units) frozen empanada dough circles. (Lili suggests the Goya brand)
mustard sauce, recipe follows
While sprouts are roasting, add shallots and green onions to small skillet along with 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil. Saute over medium-low heat for 7-10 minutes, or until caramelized. Pour shallot-onion mixture into Brussels sprouts pan and stir to combine.
Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Add the egg to a small bowl with 1 tablespoon water. Whisk to create an egg wash. Open package of empanada dough and remove one sheet. Add approximately 1 tablespoon Brussels sprouts mixture and 1 teaspoon Parmigiano cheese to the center of empanada dough. (Do not over-stuff or you will not get a clean seal.) Fold in half and brush top with egg wash. Pinch sides together and crimp closed by pushing down sides with tines of a fork. Ensure edges are sealed. Place on prepared sheet. Repeat with remaining dough equally dividing between the 2 baking sheets.
Bake in preheated oven for 12 minutes. Rotate baking sheets and bake an additional 8-10 minutes or until empanadas are dark golden brown. Serve immediately with mustard-cream sauce.
Mustard Cream Sauce
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 shallot, peeled and chopped
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup whipping cream
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon dried tarragon
In a small saucepan, saute shallot in olive oil over medium heat until soft and just beginning to caramelize. (about 3 minutes. Reduce to low and add vinegar, cream and mustard. Increase the heat to high and stir sauce until small bubbles form. Reduce the heat and simmer 7 minutes or until sauce is reduced in half. Stir in parsley, tarragon and a 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed. Serve in a small bowl alongside the empanadas.
Click Here for Printer Friendly Recipe
Feed Me Phoebe: Roasted Brussels Sprout Salad with Radicchio, Egg Mimosa, and Bacon Vinaigrette
Dishin & Dishes: Sautéed Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Pine Nuts
Weelicious: Shredded Brussels Sprouts with Lemon and Poppy Seeds
Devour: Bring On the Brussels Sprouts
The Cultural Dish: Roasted Brussels Sprouts - Three Ways
In Jennie's Kitchen: Penne with Brown Butter Brussels Sprouts & Butternut Squash
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Roasted Brussels Sprouts Empanadas with Mustard Sauce
Red or Green: Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Peppers Pizza
Taste with the Eyes: Quinoa Omelette filled with Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Cheddar
Jeanette's Healthy Living: Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Mint, Cilantro and Vietnamese Style Dressing
Domesticate Me: Kabocha Squash Quinoa Bake with Brussels Sprouts and Pancetta
The Wimpy Vegetarian: Warm Brussels Sprouts Salad with Caramelized Onions
The Mom 100: Bacon-Wrapped Brussels Sprouts
FN Dish: 8 Crowd-Pleasing Brussels Sprouts for Your Thanksgiving Table
I have started sharing my newest blog "California Girl in Taos." Please visit and let me know what you think.