Prep 1 hr
Cook 1 hr 30 mins
The turnovers of Mexico, empanadas are stuffed with all kinds of vegetables, including squashes, mushrooms and the chard used here. Be sure to use plenty of chard and season it well. You’ll want to make a large batch of empanadas when you have the time, then store them well wrapped in the freezer for up to several weeks.
For the Dough
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1⁄2 cup lard or 1⁄2 cup unsalted butter, chilled
- 2 1⁄2 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- about 1/3 cup ice water
For the Filling
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large white onion, diced
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 2 bunches swiss chard, about 1 lb total weight, trimmed, leaves cut into small pieces and stems cut into 1/2 inch dice
- 3⁄4 cup Cotija cheese or 3⁄4 cup romano cheese or 3⁄4 cup parmesan cheese
- 1⁄4 cup asadero cheese, grated (or a Manchego, Monterey Jack cheese or other good melting cheese)
- fresh lime juice (1 squeeze)
- 1 egg, beaten, for the glaze
- freshly cracked pepper
- For the Dough:.
- In a bowl, combine the flour, lard, butter and salt. Mix lightly with your fingers until the mixture forms pea-sized pieces. Using a fork, stir in the ice water, a little at a time, until a dough forms, and then knead lightly until it comes together in a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or as long as overnight.
- For the Filling:.
- In a large frying pan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the onion, salt and pepper and sauté until the onion is soft and begins to turn lightly golden, 7 to 10 minutes. Add the chard stems and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Then add the chard leaves and cook, stirring, until tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and let cool. Add the cheeses and lime juice and mix well. Taste and adjust the seasonings.
- To Assemble:.
- On a lightly floured board, roll out the dough about 1/8 inch thick. Using a 3 inch round cookie cutter, cut out 12 rounds. Place about 2 teaspoons of the filling on ½ of each round, leaving a ½ inch border. Dampen the edges of the dough with a little of the egg glaze, then fold the dough over to enclose the filling. Seal the edges by pressing firmly with the tines of a fork. Arrange the empanadas on a tray, cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes or up to 3 days before baking.
- Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F. Place the empanadas on a baking shee. Brush the tops with the egg glaze and sprinkle with cracked pepper. Using a sharp knife, cut 2 or 3 small slits in the top of each empanada to allow steam to escape.
- Bake until golden, about 30 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.
I cheated for time's sake and used pizza dough for crust, so keep in mind maybe the original crust is of 5 star quality. I thought this was a healthish way to use cooking greens- a necessary for me to deal with three rows of swiss chard in the garden this year. I thought these had great flavor, also I really liked their portability for lunch at work. I froze one as well, when re-heated was good though a little wet. Really quite good, though on the labor heavy side of things. I also think a good recipe for folks that aren't huge on greens. Nice change of pace meal too.