This weekend I’d thought I’d have a small get together for my mom so she could meet some of my tribe out here in Baltimore. I thought a wine tasting night would be fun and my mom and I started thinking about what to make for the party. We wanted to have a bunch of small finger foods that would be easy to munch on as we tried the various wines.
My mom wanted to make Empanadas de Queso and I thought that was an excellent idea. I hadn’t made empanadas with her since I was a kid and I haven’t had empanadas de queso since the last time I was in Chile!
You can make empanadas de queso in 2 ways. You can bake them or fry them. I personally like them better fried, however, they reheat better baked so my mom and I decided to bake this batch. I could also only find the little pearl mozzarella balls.
My mom likes to make cheese empanadas very small, only about the size for 2 bites, so we made the diameter of the dough no bigger than about 3 inches.
To go with the empanadas we also had bacon wrapped asparagus, brown sugar and walnut baked brie, chicken, assorted cheese/crackers/charcuterie/nuts/dried fruits, chocolates, and candies. I was worried that we wouldn’t have enough food but as we set up the spread we realized that we had more than enough food!
Everyone also brought their favorite wines and we had a great time tasting them all!
Empanadas de Queso
- 3 cups All Purpose Flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 Tablespoons lard (or shortening)
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup queso chanco (or swiss, mozarella, havarti), cutinto 1/2 inch cubes
- 1 egg well beaten
- Add flour, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Mix well with a whisk to break up any clumps.
- Combine lard/shortening and milk in a small saucepan. Heat until milk is hot and lard/shortening is melted into the milk. Pour hot milk into the flour mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until dough forms.
- Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead until dough is smooth and elastic. Add more milk a tablespoon at a time if the dough is dry and crumbly.
- Cover dough and allow to rest for 15 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 375F
- Break off a small piece of dough, roll the dough into a ball, and roll the ball out onto a floured surface ¼” thick. It should be about 3 inches round.
- Fill the middle with cheese, brush the outside with the beaten egg. Fold circle into a half moon, press the edges with your fingers to seal, place empanadas on a prepared baking sheet.
- If Baking: Brush empanadas with beaten egg and bake for 20 minutes until golden brown.
- If Frying: Do not brush empanadas with egg. Deep fry at 375F and drain on paper towels.