Originating in Spain and Portugal, empanadas have become a traditional Latin food. The folded pasty can be stuffed with a variety of fillings, including cheese, meats, and even sweet mixtures of fruit. The dough is then secured and cooked by frying or baking. The most traditional recipe uses fillings with a mix of ground beef and seasonings.
Dough (makes 4)
Sift together the dry ingredients, incorporate the butter with your hands, and then add the milk. Mix the ingredients until a ball can be formed. Refrigerate the empanada dough for at least an hour, until it is ready to use.
Filling (for 4)
To prepare the empanada filling, sauté onions, peppers, and garlic until softened. Add ground beef and cook on medium until browned. Stir in the remaining ingredients and simmer for 5-10 minutes or until heated through.
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Cut the empanada dough into four equal parts and roll each portion with flour into a circle. Equally distribute the filling among the dough. Wet the edges with a brush dipped in water and fold the pastry over into a half-moon shape. Secure the edges by pressing down with the tines of a fork. Place the pastries on an ungreased baking sheet.
For a nice brown glaze, brush the dough lightly with a water and egg mixture. Bake the empanadas for 30 minutes. Serve!