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It's National Empanada Day!

Posted Apr 08 2011 3:01pm
Who knew?  What perfect way to end my blogging vacation than to celebrate the humble empanada on its very own day by resharing my empanada recipe.  (As an aside, I always want to say em-pa-NYA-da, but I am trying retrain myself to say the word correctly: em-pa-NAH-da.)  A couple of years ago a group of Latina women sold "authentic Latin food" at our local farmer's market.  I fell head over heels in love with their corn and cheese empanadas.  This recipe is my attempt at recreating their empanada.  It falls short of the empanadas I enjoyed at the Farmer's Market, but it's still a darn good empanada, and it freezes well to boot.  I make extra and freeze them to pack in my son's lunch box or to use on those nights when I just don't feel like cooking.

Empanadas de Choclo y Queso (Corn and Cheese Empanadas)

packaged frozen empanada shells (find in the freezer section)
2 TBSP butter
1/2 onion, finely chopped
2 TBSP all-purpose flour
Lowfat evaporated milk (about 1/2 a can)
2 oz Monterey Jack cheese or cheese of choice
1 green onion, finely chopped
corn - 4-6 ears fresh or 1 can or 1 1/2 - 2 cups frozen (I used a bag of fresh corn that I froze last summer )
1 small can green chiles (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 F.

White Sauce - Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until tender. Whisk in the flour and cook for about a minute. Slowly whisk in the evaporated milk until your sauce is the desired consistency. Cook for a couple of minutes adding more evaporated milk if necessary. (My sauce at this point was very thick but pourable.)

Add in cheese, green onions, and corn as well as any other optional ingredients. Stir to combine well.

Place a tablespoon or two of corn and cheese filling in the center of an empanada shell. Wet the outer edge of the shell with a little water and press edges together to make a sealed pouch. Place empanada on an oiled baking sheet. Continue until all of your filling and/or empanada shells are used.

Bake at 400 F for 10-15 min or until empanada bottoms are browned. (You can also brush an egg wash over the top of the uncooked shells to brown the tops as well.)

Makes about 30 empanadas

Want more empanada ideas?  Foodgawker has beautiful pictures of empanadas with links to the recipes.  Get ready to drool!  And while I haven't tried this recipe, Home Baked Memories has a wonderful looking Green Chile Chicken and Queso Empanada recipe.  Enjoy!
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