Making empanadas has a big secret – Buy the crusts at the super market. It might feel like you are somehow taking a cheap shortcut, or you are being less than authentic by not making your our dough, but I have spoken to women in Argentina, and they have given the world permission to just buy the frozen dough.
Think about bread. If we had to make bread for every sandwich or burger we consume here in the US, most of our families would still be waiting at the table to get their meal. Or, they might never get it at all. Modern life is too demanding to make our own bread dough daily, especially if we don’t own our own bakery. So, inasmuch as I encourage you to make your own tortillas, and bread, there are times when you just have to get on with the show, and buy something.
That said, let’s spend some time talking about the filling. I used fresh shiitake mushrooms for this recipe, as they are meaty and dense, and hold up as a good empanada filling. You can try using other types of fresh mushrooms, such as oyster mushrooms, portobellos, or even white mushrooms, although I don’t feel those are as flavorful. Mushrooms are also super low in calories, but the shocking irony is that they absorb butter like a thirsty sponge. I hope you weren’t expecting any type of health benefit from this recipe. Spiritually though, this recipe gets an A+.
Try pairing these empanadas with a dry sherry, or a pre-meal champagne or white wine. The flavor is rich and complicated, but light in texture. They are a great take along if you are going to a pot-luck, as they are liked by all. And you don’t have to tell anyone your secret.
Mushroom Garlic Butter Empanadas
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 45 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
- Yield: 20 servings
- Category: Baked Goods
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: Latin American
8-10 oz fresh Shitake mushrooms, about 12, trimmed (225gr-280gr)
1/2lb onions, peeled and cut into quarters (250gr)
1 stick or 4 oz butter (125gr)
1 clove garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
1 package prepared empanada wrappers, for 20 empanadas
Heat your oven to 400°F (204°C), and line a baking sheet with parchment.
Using a food processor, mince the onions. Remove them from the processor, and then add the mushrooms. Mince the mushrooms, and set aside.
In a large 10″ (25cm) skillet, heat the butter until it melts. Add the onions, and allow them to brown over medium heat until they are deeply caramelized, about 10 minutes. Add the minced mushrooms, and stir to combine well. The mushrooms will absorb all of the butter, but will not need to cook all that long, about 2 minutes. Stir in the minced garlic, season with salt and pepper, and remove from the heat.
Fill each of the empanada wrappers with a tablespoon of the mushroom filling. Crimp the edges of the empanada wrapper together to seal.
Break the egg into a small bowl, and whisk to scramble. Add a tsp. of water and whisk again.
Form all of the empanadas in this fashion. Brush the tops of the empanada with the egg wash. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes, until golden brown.