Empanadas are usually something you avoid unless you want to look like a little empanada. Typically made with white flour, a big lump of shortening and fried to a crisp, empanadas are painful thing to have to refuse. This recipe replaces the white flour with masa harina- the ground corn flour- and snubs the deep fryer in favor of the oven. The result is a simple, rustic empanada with a warm, subtle crust.
You can really fill these with anything but my Cuban Picadillo leftovers were so great, they filled my first batch. Rich, hearty and filling.
Baked Masa Empanadas filled with Cuban Picadillo
- 1 cup masa harina
- 2/3 cup water
- 1 tablespoon butter or olive oil
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups of Cuban picadillo
1. Mix the masa harina, water, butter and salt well. Mix for 2-3 minutes and add a bit of water if the dough is dry. When you finish, you want to have the consistency of play-doh (not sticky but moist and malleable).
2. Divide the dough into 8 sections. Don’t worry about making them perfect balls yet because you’ll have to reshape them right before flattening them.
4. Now, take a section of dough and work it into a little ball. If you don’t work the dough with your hands right before flattening, the dough tends to crack and break. Place the dough ball on top of the plastic and cover with the other section of plastic.
5. Take something with a flat bottom (I’m using a pyrex baking dish) and press down gently on the dough ball. Watch it flatten into a disc the size of a tortilla. Gently rock the baking dish back and forth to spread it out completely. You’ve started your first empanada.
8. Repeat for all the empanadas.
9. Bake the empanadas for 15 minutes at 300˚.
Yields 4 servings
Serving Size: 2 empanadas
Weight Watchers Points+: 8
Calories 306, Carbs 24, Fat 12, Protein 25