Ingredients for Epananadas (Makes 20 medium-sized empanadas)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/4 cup diced onion
- 1/4 cup diced green bell pepper
- 1/2 cup tomato sauce
- 1/4 cup vino seco (dry white cooking wine)
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 pound ground Spanish chorizo sausage
- 1/2 pound ground sweet ham
- 20 discos para empanadas (frozen turnover pastry disks), thawed and kept in the refrigerator
- Canola oil, for shallow frying
Ingredients for Dipping Sauce
- 1 cup refrigerated bottled thick ranch dressing (I like Marie’s)
- 1 to 2 tablespoons hot sauce (like Tabasco)
- 1 to 2 teaspoons chopped cilantro
Directions for Empanadas with Dipping Sauce
1. To make the empanadas, heat the oil in a shallow pot over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, onion, and bell pepper, and sauté for 5 to 7 minutes, until soft. Add the tomato sauce, vino seco, and pepper, and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the chorizo and ham and continue cooking for an additional 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Turn the heat off and allow the mixture to cool to room temperature. Taste and add salt, if necessary.
2. Remove one package of the pastry disks from the refrigerator. (Always leave the ones you aren’t working with in the refrigerator. They are easier to work with if they are firm.) Working on a lightly floured surface, separate the disks. If you are making appetizer-sized empanadas, cut each disk in half, creating two semicircles. If you are making the larger empanadas, leave the disks whole.
3. Place 1 to 11/2 teaspoons of filling in the center of each half disk or 1 to 11/2 tablespoons in the center of each whole disk. Fold each half disk to make a small triangle or each whole disk to make a semicircle. Using the tines of a fork, press around the edges to seal.
4. If you do not plan to fry the empanadas immediately, covered them with a damp towel or place them in an airtight container and refrigerate them for up to 5 days.
5. Heat the oil in a deep pan to 350°F over medium heat. If you do not own an oil thermometer, dip the corner of one of the empanadas in the oil to check if it is hot enough. The oil should bubble around the dough.
6. Add the empanadas, about 4 to 5 at a time, to the oil and fry them for 3 to 4 minutes, turning them once, until they are golden brown. Transfer to a paper towel–lined plate and continue frying the rest of the empanadas.
7. To make the dipping sauce, combine the ranch dressing and hot sauce in a bowl and garnish with the cilantro. Serve in a small bowl alongside the hot empanadas.