Baked Vegetarian Spinach Empanadas

Remember how I confessed that I had actually tried new recipes despite my declaration that I wouldn't try new recipes??? Well, this is the second new recipe that I tried, and it was successful!

I used two different recipes to make this one recipe. The dough came from Epicurious and the filling came from Emeril Lagasse.

For the Dough:
2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 cubes
1 large egg
1/3 cup ice water
1 Tablespoon distilled white vinegar 

Mix flour with salt into a large bowl and blend in butter with your fingertips or a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse meal with some (roughly pea-size) butter lumps.

Beat together egg, water, and vinegar in a small bowl with a fork. Add to flour mixture, stirring with fork until just incorporated. (Mixture will look shaggy.)

Turn out mixture onto a lightly floured surface and gather together, then knead gently with heel of your hand once or twice, just enough to bring dough together. Form dough into a flat rectangle and chill, wrapped in plastic wrap, at least 1 hour. Mine was in the refrigerator for a day before I used it. 

For the filling:

  • 1 1/2 pounds fresh spinach leaves, washed
  • 1/3 cup minced onion
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup cottage cheese, farmer's cheese, or ricotta cheese
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F and lightly grease a baking sheet or use a stone wear baking stone.
Heat 1 teaspoon of butter in a medium nonstick skillet and, when hot, add the spinach. Cook, stirring frequently, until the spinach is wilted and has released its liquid, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the spinach to a colander to drain. When the spinach has cooled enough to handle, squeeze to release any excess water, then transfer to a cutting board and finely chop. Set aside.
Add 2 more teaspoons of the butter to the same skillet, then add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring, until soft but not browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the reserved spinach,  cottage cheese or ricotta, salt and pepper to taste and mix thoroughly. Transfer to a mixing bowl and allow to cool thoroughly. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator and, working on a lightly floured work surface, roll the dough to a thickness of about 1/8-inch thick. Using a small bowl or saucer as a guide, cut the dough into as many 4 or 5-inch circles as possible. Gather the scraps of dough together and knead lightly to reform the dough into a disk. Roll out as before and again cut as many rounds as you can. You should be able to get 10 to 12 rounds. Divide the spinach filling evenly among the dough circles. Using your fingers, lightly moisten the edges with some of the beaten egg, then fold 1 side over so that the edges meet, and press to seal. Crimp the edges using the tines of a fork and transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Repeat until all of the empanadas are assembled. Brush the tops of each empanada with some of the beaten egg and bake uncovered until golden, 12 to 15 minutes.
Serve either warm or at room temperature.

1 comment:

DandW said...

These sound delicious! Keep trying new recipes -- that's the scientist in you!