It's almost time to put on those sombreros, break out the mariachi band and get ready for the fiesta! But first, what will be the culinary star of the show? That's a tough one...we have so many favorites to choose from....which will it be?
We've got it!!
This Cinco de Mayo, we're going to share one of our most beloved, south of the border recipes...Pork Empanadas with Poblano Cream Sauce. Is your mouth watering yet?
These are so fun to make...but even more delicious to eat!
The empanada is very versatile as your filling can be either savory, spicy or sweet. When fried, empanadas aren’t much of a departure from the fried pies you can get at fast food restaurants. When you bake them, they’re similar to a self-contained pot pie or a turnover. With that in mind, we're going with the baked-version for this special day.
Empanadas are fun, festive and will feed a crowd...let's get this party started!!
(Young chefs in action showing off their crazy crimping skills!)
Pork Empanadas with Poblano Cream Sauce
16 oz. All-purpose flour
1 Tbsp cider vinegar
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp melted butter
1 Tbsp sugar
¾ cup lukewarm water
Coarse sea salt
8 oz. pork loin—diced
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion—1/4-inch dice
1 red bell pepper—1/4-inch dice
1 clove garlic—minced
2 tsp tomato paste
4 oz. smoked ham—diced
1 tsp ancho powder
2 Tbsp Crema Poblana (Mexican sour cream)
¼ cup slivered almonds—toasted
¼ cup raisins—plumped
Salt and pepper as needed
- Make the dough. Measure the flour into a large mixing bowl. Form a well in the center of the flour. Add the cider vinegar, salt, sugar, olive oil, melted butter, and water to the well. With a fork or fingers, gradually work the flour into the liquid in the well. Move the fork or fingers around and around the inside wall of the well in a circular motion until all the flour has been moistened and a dough starts to form.
- Form the dough into a ball. On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough until it becomes flexible—about 5-minutes. Divide the dough in half. Form each half into a disc. Wrap each in plastic and refrigerate for 30-minutes to one hour.
- Roll the dough to 1/8-inch thickness—a little thinner if possible. Use a 3-inch round cookie cutter to cut circles of dough.
- Make the filling. In a large sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high. Sauté the diced pork until browned. Season with salt and pepper. With a slotted spoon, remove the pork from the pan and into a mixing bowl. Drain off as much oil as possible back into the pan.
- In the same pan, sauté the onions and peppers for 2-minutes. Add the garlic and stir to combine. Add the tomato paste and stir to combine. Add the ham, ancho powder, almonds, raisins, and stir to combine. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Place the contents of the pan in the mixing bowl with the pork. Toss to combine. Allow filling to cool. Place the bowl in the refrigerator to speed up cooling.
- To assemble: Preheat oven to 325°. Line sheet pan with parchment paper. Place 1 Tbsp filling in the center of each round. Brush the edges of the rounds with egg wash. Fold each round to form a half-moon shape. Crimp the edges with a fork to seal.
- Place the empanadas on the sheet pan in neat rows. Brush the top of each empanada with egg wash. Sprinkle coarse sea salt over each empanada. Bake at 325° until golden—about 25 to 30-minutes.
- Serve with Poblano Cream.
Poblano Cream Sauce:
1 ½ cups Crema Poblana (Mexican sour cream)
2 Poblano Peppers—fire-roasted, peeled, seeded, chopped
Juice of 1 lime
Salt as needed
¼ cup chopped cilantro
- Roast the poblano peppers on a grill, over a gas flame, or under the broiler, turning as needed until the skin has charred. Seal peppers in a plastic bag until cool enough to handle. Peel away the skin. Slit the peppers open, scrape out and discard the seeds. Dice the peppers.
- Place Crema poblana, diced peppers, lime juice, a pinch of salt and cilantro in a blender jar. Blend on high speed until the mixture turns pale green and all ingredients are pureed. Taste and adjust seasoning.
- Serve cool or at room temperature. Pool 2 Tbsp on each plate and top with pork empanadas. The Poblano cream will hold in the refrigerator for three days.
Tips & Tricks:
- In a bit of a time-crunch? Purchase pre-made, pre-chilled dough and go from there!
- Why do we add vinegar to the crust? Vinegar in a crust works like a secret ingredient to make sure the dough doesn't become tough.
- Nervous about sealing your empanadas? No problem! Using a fork to seal your empanadas is easy and fun! After you fold the dough over, use the times of the fork to press down, gently around the outer opening. Then, simply use a pastry bench or butter knife to trim the uneven edges. You now have a beautiful empanada to serve!