When Latinos think about empanadas, it’s usually the fried Caribbean style we grew up with that mom used to make and probably still does. But these are not your typical empanadas. These are made with lean ground turkey, are baked off in a flaky dough and is accompanied by a light yet creamy avocado dip.
• 1 – 17 ounce pkg. puff pastry sheets, thawed
• 1 pound lean ground turkey
• 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
• 1 small-medium onion, chopped
• 3 garlic cloves, chopped
• 2 tablespoons tomato paste
• 1 teaspoon ground cumin
• ¼ teaspoon salt
• 1 – 15 ounce can pinto beans
• 2 tablespoons chipotle in adobo, finely chopped
• ½ cup sweet corn
For the avocado cream:
• 2 haas avocados
• 2 tablespoons red onion, grated
• 4 ounces light sour cream
• ¼ extra virgin olive oil
• 1 lime, juiced
• Salt and pepper to taste
• 1-2 plum tomatoes, diced
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Using a blender or food processor prepare avocado cream by combining avocados, sour cream, olive oil, red onion, lime juice, salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
2. Pour into a serving and top with diced tomato. Set aside.
3. Heat a skillet with olive oil and add ground turkey. Break down the meat while cooking until it is no longer pink.
4. Add onions and garlic and cook for an additional 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
5. Add tomato paste, ground cumin, salt and pepper and stir until well combined. Cook on low.
6. While the turkey continues to cook, clean out blender or food processor and add beans along with its juices and salt and pepper to taste. Blend until smooth. Then add chipotle and mix until well combined.
7. Add half of the bean and chipotle mixture to the turkey and stir until well combined. This will serve as your glue. (Save remaining half and use as a sandwich spread or adjust and use as a pinto bean dip.)
8. Lastly, mix in corn. Set aside to cool.
9. Roll 1 sheet puff pastry and cut into 12 squares.
10. Place 1 rounded tablespoon filling in center of each square. Fold opposite corners of squares together to form triangles. Pinch edges of pastry together; crimp with fork to seal
11. Place triangles onto lightly greased baking sheets. Repeat with remaining pastry sheet and filling. Bake for 15-18 minutes.
12. Transfer to a serving platter. Top with avocado cream and serve warm.
Makes 24 perfect for any party empanadas
Elizabeth Carrion, a Dominican, co-founded Mi Cocina, a New Jersey-based catering service that also offers cooking classes, with her sister, Ana Martinez. Follow her on Twitter: @micocinalatina and visit her website micocina-latina.com.