Spicy Pork Empanadas

1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon water, cold
1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil
dash cider vinegar
salt and black pepper to taste
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup ground pork
1/4 cup onion, 1/4 inch dice
1 garlic clove, minced
1 serrano chile, seeded, finely diced
1/3 cup tomato, pjeeled, seeded, 1/4 inch dice
vegetable oil for frying

  1. Combine butter and cream cheese. Sift flour and baking powder together.
  2. Combine cream cheese mixture with flour, water, and vinegar. With generously floured hands, work the dough until you have a smooth, resilient dough, 3 to 4 minutes. Set aside.
  3. Heat the oil over medium heat. Add the pork, onion, and garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the chile, tomato, and seasonings and simmer over low heat for about 10 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary. Cool the mixture before making the empanadas.
  5. Roll out the dough to ⅛ inch (.3 cm) thickness and cut out 3-inch (7.6 cm) circles. Place a heaping tablespoon of filling in the centers, fold over, and seal the edges of the empanadas. Cover with plastic so they will not dry out. Refrigerate the empanadas until service time.
  6. Heat the oil in a deep-fryer to 350°F (175°C). Fry the empanadas until golden brown.

Chef:  dough is beautiful, not too thick, good color throughout, filling a little overcooked

Personal/team: Filling did over cook on the stove, slightly dry, but still good flavor. A little lower heat and just until meat was cooked would have been best. Dough was good though. Needed some dipping sauce--something spicy.

Lessons Learned: Make sure to have a thick enough dough that it doesn't break when filled, but not too thick that it doesn't cook all the way when frying. An 1/8 inch seems to be a good thickness.