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You can get these empanadas everywhere in Ecuador. Some places make a huge one that fills your entire plate. There are usually lightly sprinkled with sugar immediately after frying. These can be served as an appetizer, for breakfast, as a snack or as a light lunch, with a salad. I am providing the recipe for the dough, but you can buy premade dough, called discos, in Latin markets. Goya brand is good. Remember that measurements are by weight, not by cupful. I use monterey jack, mozzarella or muenster cheese for these. I like a cheese that melts well. From Cocinemos Con Kristy, Tomo 1. Warning: These are addictive!
- Mix flour and baking powder well. Cut in shortening.
- Mix water, salt and lemon juice. Stir well.
- Blend water into the flour mixture, a bit at a time until you get a soft dough. Knead it well.
- Roll out dough until it is pretty thin. Cut circles with a cup or cutter, of the size you desire.
- Start heating your oil.
- Put 1 tbsp filling (depending on size of circles you have cut) into the middle of each circle. Fold over and turn the edges to seal well.
- Fry them in a skillet, with a lot of oil. Spoon hot oil over them as they fry, so that both sides get golden and you don't have to turn them. They puff up as you spoon the oil over them.
- Remove to a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Sprinkle with sugar and serve immediately, as the dough and the cheese hardens when they get cold.