Turkey Empanadas

These tasty, hand held Latin style turnovers are a great way to use leftovers.  Why not fill them with your Thanksgiving leftovers,  baked chicken and even roasted vegetables.   By trial and error I’ve learned a few important tips.  Don’t over stuff with filling or else it’s difficult to fold the dough over without tearing it.  Also, it only takes a tiny bit of water around the edges to create a nice seal.  Think in terms of the amount of moisture on a postage stamp.  A little goes a long way.  Adding too much water will make the dough soggy.   Whichever ingredients you choose as your filling, enjoy empanadas as a party food or a meal. 

Turkey Empanadas

Servings: makes 16

2 cups cooked turkey, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon cumin

4 oz.  (1 cup) mozzarella cheese, grated

2 pastry crusts (or 2 refrigerated pastry crusts)

Tap water to moisten pastry edges

1 egg

1. Preheat oven to 350°.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat. 

2. In a medium bowl mix turkey, garlic, salt, pepper and cumin together.  Add cheese and mix well.  Set the filling aside. 

3. On a floured surface roll out 1 pastry crust to a10x16” rectangle. Cut in half lengthwise.  Cut each half crosswise into quarters for your pastry rectangles.  Repeat with remaining pastry crust.

4. Place about a 2 Tablespoon scoop of filling in the center of each pastry rectangle. Dip your fingertips in water then lightly moisten the edges of the pastry crust with your fingertips.  Fold pastry crust over, and press edges to seal.  Press with fork tines to seal, and trim any excess dough.  Empanadas can also be sealed with a rope twist border.  Transfer to the prepared baking sheet.  Place in freezer for 10 minutes to help the empanadas hold their shape while baking.

5. In a small bowl beat the egg.  Brush each empanada with the beaten egg.  Bake until the pastry crust is golden brown, 25-35 minutes. 

6. Using a spatula, transfer to cooling rack for 5 minutes, and serve warm.

Do Ahead: Empanadas can be assembled, but not baked, 1 week ahead.  Simply cover and freeze.  Thaw for 15 minutes, brush with egg wash and bake as directed.