Today is a big day. Friday the 21st of January doesn't really exist to me, because I go straight from 9pm California time to 4am Philippines time...and then 2pm Japan time.
Instead, let's think about Beef & Butternut Whole Wheat Empanadas, which I stuffed (frozen) in my carryon bag in order to have some sort of meal while traveling. I'm actually a bit of a pro at traveling with snacks. My parents always brought deli sandwich fixin's on road trips and plane rides, and after traveling around the world with Mr. Hangry Himself (Zac), I know how important snacks are to everyone's happiness. So I packed frozen empanadas for the plane ride. Along with Larabars, granola, and fruit. It's going to be great.
I've been wanting to make empanadas for a long long time. We got the best empanadas in Peru. Sometimes they were similar to these, with a cornish pasty-style crust, other times they were wrapped in a flaky, buttery, croissant-like crust. Both ways were fantastic.
So I found this lovely whole wheat dough recipe from the Peruvian mother-daughter duo at Peru Delights, and filled it with butternut squash, ground beef, swiss chard, and onions. They're so so so good. You're going to love 'em.
Beef & Butternut Whole Wheat Empanadas
For the Dough:
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ cup cold butter
- ½ cup water
- 1 egg for brushing
For the Filling:
- ½ medium onion
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2 cups butternut squash peeled and cubed
- ½ pound grass-fed ground beef
- 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
- 4 cups swiss chard or kale, spinach, finely chopped
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne
- salt and pepper to taste
- For the Dough: Mix together the flour and salt, then add the butter and knead it into the dough. Add the water and continue kneading until uniform. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
For the Filling:
- Saute the onions over medium heat. Add beef and salt, and cook until browned.
- Add the garlic, butternut squash, tomato paste, and ½ cup water. Cook covered until squash is tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in the greens and red pepper flakes and saute until wilted.
- Remove from heat and set aside.
- When dough is chilled, divide it into thirds. Roll each third ⅛th of an inch thick. Using un overturned glass (or biscuit cutter), cut rounds in the dough. Repeat with the other pieces of dough. Roll the scraps together and chill them, then roll them out until all the pieces are used.
- Place 2-3 Tablespoons of filling in the center of the circle, then pull one side over the other, stretching the dough as you do so. Seal the end with a fork. Repeat until you run out of dough and filling, then brush each empanada with the whisked egg and bake on 350ºF for 30-35 minutes.
- Full disclosure: this took me about an hour and a half, from start to finish on my first time! This includes the break to take photos of the ingredients. I was being super careful about measuring everything, and I think if I made the empanadas larger it would be significantly faster. Shoot for 10-12 empanadas and save yourself 20 minutes or so.