One of the things I miss most during the current COVID-19 quarantines and statewide closures is going out to eat with my friends and family- both at familiar places I’ve dined in before and have enjoyed for a long time- or by getting adventurous at new places I’ve never tried but have been meaning to or had heard about.
I’m unsure if one of my favorite Boston-based restaurants, Citrus & Salt, is presently offering takeout options- but they’re a bit out of the way for me right now given my current residence in the Pioneer Valley. The distance is particularly difficult since I have been in the mood to indulge in some of their empanadas as of late and there aren’t really many places in my area who know how to whip up a proper batch- so I just decided to give it my best shot and make them myself.
This recipe can be modified or altered depending on the type of meat (if any!) or fillings you’d like. For example, I also added refried beans to my batch- but the recipe below is the bare bones version!
WHAT YOU’LL NEED:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small onion, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
- 1 pound ground beef
- 3 tablespoons taco seasoning
- One 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 packages prepared pie dough (2 crusts total)
- 1 egg
WHAT YOU’LL DO:
1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. In a medium sauté pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and jalapeño, and sauté until fragrant, 1 minute more.
3. Add the ground beef and cook until well browned, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the taco seasoning and tomatoes, then bring to a simmer, mixing to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and cool slightly.
4. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to flatten any creases. Using a cookie cutter or the rim of a glass (about 3 inches in diameter), cut circles from the dough. You may need to flour the cookie cutter or glass between cuts. **NOTE: You can re-roll the scraps of pie dough to cut more circles if needed.**
5. Place 2 tablespoons of filling in the center of a dough circle. Brush one side of the dough with water, then fold the dough over the filling, pressing gently to seal. Use the tines of a fork to fully seal the edge of the dough. Repeat with the remaining dough circles and filling. (The empanadas can be made up to this point and frozen in an airtight container. Thaw overnight in the fridge before moving on to step 6.)
6. Transfer the empanadas to the prepared baking sheets. If the dough feels sticky, refrigerate for 15 to 30 minutes.
7. In a small bowl, whisk the egg with 1 tablespoon water to combine. Brush the egg wash onto each empanada.
8. Bake until golden brown, 15 to 18 minutes. Cool at least 15 minutes before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature.
These came out fantastic, and I had quite a few left over to freeze for future devouring during one of my upcoming work-from-home lunch breaks- so nothing went to waste!
Served with sides of salsa and guacamole- and you’ve got a quick and easy meal that’s perfect for a quiet night in of social distancing, sweatpants and Netflix.