Empanadas


Dough:
Pillsbury (or similar) Refrigerated 9" Unroll & Fill Pie Crust
Egg
Flour for rolling out dough

Beef Filling:
2 tablespoons olive oil
5 tablespoons sofrito (Recipe follows)
1/4 cup cut green olives
1 pound lean ground beef (4-8% fat)
1 regular sized can of crushed tomatoes
Salt & pepper to taste

Sofrito:
1 red pepper
1 green pepper
1 red onion
1 white onion
1 head of garlic

To make the sofrito, combine all ingredients in a food processor. Blend
until chopped. Reserve 5 tablespoons of sofrito for empanada recipe. Spoon
remaining sofrito into ice cube tray and freeze. Once frozen, remove cubes
of sofrito and place in a freezer bag. Fresh sofrito is good for about a
week. Frozen sofrito is good for months.

For beef filling: In a hot pan, combine oil and sofrito. Sauté for about 5
minutes. Break up ground beef with fingers and stir into mixture. Add ˝ can
of crushed tomatoes, olives, salt & pepper. Lower heat to simmer. Cook until
brown, adding additional remaining tomatoes as mixture reduces. Cook time is
approx 1 hour. Beef filling needs to be fairly dry for best results.

Empanadas: Take one 9-inch pie crust and roll out on floured surface to
approximately 14-inches in diameter. Take a four inch diameter glass/bowl or
round cookie cutter and cut 4-inch circles out of dough. Repeat with second
pie crust. Retain remnants and roll out to make additional rounds. Each
9-inch pie crust will yield approx. 10 thin 4-inch rounds. Place about a
tablespoon of desired filling on one side of round and fold over in half to
make a pocket (like a turnover). Wet fingers with water to moisten the seam
and press with a fork to seal. Use a sharp knife to create two small cuts in
the top of the pocket for steam to escape. Make an egg wash by beating one egg (optional - add a tablespoon of water). Brush egg wash onto each pocket.
Place empanadas on a baking sheet and bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes
until golden brown. Serve warm.

Makes approx. 20 empanadas.