I love making things with pastry.
The thing, though, is, my kitchen tends to get really hot, so unless I work REALLY fast, my pastries tend to lose their shapes because of the heat.
So today, I decided to work really fast, and I made some empanadas because I had some chicken I wanted to use up.
I really like pastries. I mean, what's not to like? They are small and compact, making them very convenient to eat, and they are also fun and tasty.
I started by making the filling for the empanadas.
I seasoned the diced chicken with salt and pepper before cooking the chicken in olive oil until they turned opaque. The chicken would be cooked again later.
I added the rest of the ingredients and mixed everything until it was well-combined.
I floured a clean work surface and using my pastry/cookie cutter (you can use a glass, a bowl, whatever that's handy), I cut rounds.
I placed a heaping tablespoon of the filling in the middle of each round.
Then I brushed the edges of each round with water.
The dough was folded over, and I pressed on the edges with a fork to seal.
And that was it!
Easy, peasy mini hand-held pies.
I would never have thought of adding cream cheese to pies, but now that I realised how tasty it is, I shall be making pies with cream cheese a lot more often!
Chicken Empanadas (Makes 30)
Adapted from Paula Deen
3 cups (About 2 half breasts) chopped, cooked chicken
1 (8-ounce/ 225g) package shredded Colby and Monterey Jack cheese blend
4 ounces (112.5g) cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper - I used one medium bell pepper
1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped - I omitted this
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 (15-ounce) package refrigerated pie crusts - I used one pack (6 sheets) ready-rolled puff pastry
1. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).
2. Lightly grease a baking sheet. In a large bowl, combine the chicken and next 7 ingredients. 3. Unroll 1 pie-crust (or puff pastry) onto a lightly floured surface. Roll into a 15-inch circle.
4. Cut out rounds, using a 3-inch cookie cutter.
5. Re-roll dough as needed. Repeat procedure with remaining pie-crusts.
6. Arrange 1 round on a clean, flat surface.
7. Lightly brush the edges of crust with water.
8. Place 1 heaping teaspoon of chicken mixture in the center of the round. Fold the dough over the filling, pressing the edges with a fork to seal.
9. Repeat with the remaining rounds and chicken mixture. (Up to this point, the recipe can be made ahead and frozen for up to 1 month).
10. Arrange empanadas on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes.
This post is linked to Cook like a Star, Paula Deen and the Deen Brothers organised by me the Domestic Goddess Wannabe, Joyce from Kitchen Flavours and Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids.
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I am also linking this post to Bake-Along, organised by Joyce from Kitchen Flavours, Lena, from Frozen wings and Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids.