My girls were watching an old episode of Hannah Montana and Rico was selling empanadas. Tayana loved the way Rico said the word empanada and saying it that way herself, so she just had to have one. Traditional empanadas are made with an egg dough and filled with onions, garlic and other things my husband wouldn't eat. So, Tayana and I brainstormed and came up with our version. We used a cornmeal dough and a ground beef, gravy and diced potato filling. Everyone loved them and Tayana was so excited to say that she ate an empanada. She also had so much fun making the dough and filling. She helped roll out the dough, cut it, fill it and pinch it shut. They took longer than my regular meals, but they were really worth the effort because they were so yummy. Since we loved them so much, next time I'm going to make a triple batch and freeze the leftovers. It won't be much extra work to make the extras and then we have another option in the freezer for lunch.
Tayana's Baked Empanadas
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup cornmeal
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup dairy free margarine, melted
3/4 cup water
1 lb cooked ground beef
1 can gravy
1 can diced potatoes (or fresh diced and boiled potatoes)
Combine the flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt. Stir in the margarine. Add the water then stir until thoroughly combined. The dough should not be sticky, but it should also not be dry. It should hold together when you form it into a ball. Wrap the ball in plastic wrap then refrigerate for 30 minutes.
While the dough is chilling, place the ground beef, gravy and potatoes into a saucepan. Cook over medium low heat, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes and meat are tender (10-15 minutes). Allow to cool before using.
On a floured surface, roll out a portion of the dough to about 1/8" thick. Cut the dough into 5-6" circles. (I used a ceramic bowl that was about 5 1/2" across.) Place a good sized amount of the filling (about 2-4 tbsp) on half of the circle. Fold the other half over the filling then pinch to seal. Use fork tines to crimp the edges to make sure the edges stay sealed. Place the empanadas onto parchment paper lined baking sheets. Continue until all of the dough is used, re-rolling as needed. Bake at 375 for 25-30 minutes or until just golden.
Shared with Savory Sunday, Meatless Mondays, Melt-in-Your-Mouth-Monday, Mouthwatering Monday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Crazy Sweet Tuesday, Trick-or-Treat Tuesday, Totally Tasty Tuesdays, Tempt My Tummy Tuesday, Tasty Tuesdays, Tuesdays at the Table, Allergy Free Wednesdays, Full Plate Thursday, Frugal Food Thursday, It's a Keeper Thursday, Share the Wealth Wednesday, Foodie Friday, Friday Food, Fabulous Friday, Food on Fridays, Allergy Friendly Lunchbox Love and Allergy Friendly Fridays.