Dishing Up Some Tasty Content

SPINACH AND CHEESE EMPANADAS


APRIL 2014

Jerrie-Joy_recipe

PHOTOGRAPHY by CHRIS CHEN

Preparation Time: 30 Minutes
Cooking Time: 40 Minutes
Makes 20 Empanadas

CLASSIC DOUGH (FOR BAKING)
1. Cut 325g (11½ oz) of unsalted butter into small cubes. Sift 1kg (2 lb 4oz/6⅔ cups) of plain (all-purpose) flour into a large bowl. Add 25g (1 oz) of salt and the cubes of butter.
2. Rub the butter into the flour and salt with your hands until you have a sandy texture with no lumps.
3. Add 350ml (12 fl oz) of water and combine with the flour mixture using your hands. Add a little more water if necessary. Knead the dough on a lightly floured work surface for 10-15 minutes.
4. Form into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.

BECHAMEL SAUCE
70g (2½ oz) unsalted butter
70g (2½ oz) plain (all-purpose) flour
700ml milk
Salt, pepper
1 pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

SPINACH AND CHEESE FILLING
700g (1 lb 9 oz) baby spinach
Olive oil
Salt, black pepper
200g (7 oz) mozzarella or feta cheese, diced
100g (3½ oz) parmesan or Grana Padano cheese, grated
Glaze 3 egg yolks

BECHAMEL SAUCE
Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat. Stir in the flour and mix with a wooden spoon. Cook stirring, for 4 minutes, then add the milk, stirring constantly to avoid lumps. Continue cooking for 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and nutmeg. Allow to cool.

SPINACH AND CHEESE FILLING
Cook the spinach in a hot frying pan with a little oil until wilted. Drain thoroughly in a colander and roughly chop. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside to cool. Combine the mozzarella, parmesan and spinach. Add the cold bechamel sauce and adjust the seasoning.

ASSEMBLY
Preheat the oven to 190 degrees. Sprinkle a little flour on the work surface. Roll out the dough to a thickness of 3mm (⅛inch), and cut out circles with a 14cm (5½ inches) cutter.  Using a 60ml (2fl oz/¼ cup) ice-cream scoop or measuring cup, form small balls of filling and place one on each round of dough.

Lightly moisten the edge of the dough with a little water and fold over into a half-moon shape. Seal the edges and decorate them with an edging (see below, Cordero Edging). Set aside in the refrigerator if not cooking immediately.

COOKING
Arrange the empanadas on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Brush with egg yolk and bake for 20 minutes, or until golden and cooked. Allow to cool for a few minutes before serving.

CORDERO EDGING
Once the empanada has been shaped into a half-moon and the edges are well sealed, make waves in the edges with your fingers.

This recipe was taken from Argentinian Street Food: Empanadas, Helados and Dulce de Leche by Enrique Zanoni and Gaston Stivelmaher.
Published April 2014
Murdoch Books
RRP $29.99

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