Today, I had one of those days. You know, the horrible ones where just about everything that could possibly go wrong, does. The only redeeming quality about it was that it was raining. I love the rain, and it’s a rarity here in San Diego so yup, that made me happy. But really – everything else sucked. Suckiest of all, however, was the DMV.
Story time: I’ve been waiting for get my license for a while now and I’ve been nervous/excited for a while now about getting it today! So, my mom picks me up from school at two o’clock and we head over to the DMV for my 2:45 appointment. We wait in the looooonnnggggg line and get to the front counter only to have the lady say “Sorry, you don’t have the right insurance card here.” So my mom goes to the car and rushes to Kinko’s to have someone fax her the insurance information. Literally five minutes later we go back in and say “here we have it now!” And the lady, being the little meanie that she is, says “you really expect me to let you take your test today? And cut all these people in line? It’s a half hour after your appointment time!” At that point, my mom comes in and starts being mean to the lady and brings in the supervisor. She was really nice but the other lady was lying and being so evil and ugh I’m still fuming! But pretty much, I couldn’t take it today and I have to wait another two weeks. So ridiculous. Gahhh.
So after that happened I needed my favorite comfort food in the world – cheesy, greasy, perfectly crunchy empanadas.
What you may not know about me is that I’m Bolivian and Chilean so I’ve grown up around these perfectly perfect puffs of fried dough oozing with creamy jack cheese. Making you hungry, aren’t I?
While I’m sure you could make your own dough, we just buy it at the nearest Latin market to make it easier. I encourage you to find one – ASAP. And make these, it’s SO worth it.
Start by grating the cheese, about 3/4 of a 1 lb. block of some good Monterrey jack. I guess you could buy it, but I always grate my own cause that’s how my Bolivian great grandmother taught me how it’s done. :) After it’s all shredded, mix it with one beaten egg.
Then lay out your store bought dough rounds and put a little bit of water on the edges. After that, put a heaping tablespoon of the cheese mixture on the dough.
Then you’ll fold the dough into a half-moon shape and crimp in with a fork, like so:
Repeat until they’re all filled and creased.
Then, heat up a large saucepan of oil until it reaches 350 degree Fahrenheit. Then, put 2 or 3 empanadas into the hot oil and cook for about 2 to 3 minutes, or until they look like this:
Remove from oil and let drain on paper towels. Enjoy warm with powdered sugar or anything else you would like! :)
Chilean Cheese Empanadas
- 1 package 12 pack empanada dough (we use La Saltena brand, make sure you get the kind specifically for frying)
- 3/4 lb. jack cheese grated
- 1 egg beaten
- Vegetable oil enough for deep frying
- In a bowl, mix together the beaten egg and jack cheese.
- Lay out the empanada dough rounds and put some water into a bowl.
- Using a pastry brush (or your fingers), put water around the edges of each empanada dough round.
- Place about 1 heaping tablespoon of the jack cheese mixture on each round (may vary depending on the size of your rounds.)
- Fold over each round into a half-moon shape and crimp the edges with a fork.
- Heat oil in a deep saucepan to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Prepare a cooling rack covered paper towels and keep close to the frying station.
- When oil is heated fully, place 2-3 empanadas (based on the size of your pan, don't overcrowd them) and cook them until golden brown on both sides, about 2-3 minutes.
- Repeat until all empanadas are cooked, letting cool on the prepared cooling rack.
- Serve hot, and with powdered sugar if desired. Yummy! Enjoy :)
Note: This recipe can easily adapt to different cheeses, fillings, sauces, ect. This is just my personal favorite. :) Feel free to try out variations and let me know how they turn out!