This shop featuring my recipe for puff pastry empanadas has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #KingofFlavor #FlavorRocksNTL #CollectiveBias
Summer is coming, and we have all sorts of adventures planned. My daughter and I want to explore her love of music more, which means concerts! As she’s also my constantly hungry child (she literally hand blocked the platter of puff pastry empanadas in the hopes of preventing anyone else from eating any), I always bring food along to keep her happy. Literally. The girl gets cranky when she’s hungry. Fortunately, I can pick up 3 bottles of El Yucateco® hot sauce and get $1.00 off with this print at home coupon offer available through July.
No big surprise, we go through a lot of El Yucateco® hot sauce in our house. My girl loves her food a little spicy, and my husband and I do, too. El Yucateco® offers a great variety of flavors. This time, I picked up the El Yucateco® Black Label Reserve to make these puff pastry empanadas and some El Yucateco® Red Chile Habanero to make some spicy shrimp cakes later this week. Both recipes are simple and delicious – and they transport well as we head out on our music adventures!
Of course, at this rate, these puff pastry empanadas may not make it out the door before they get devoured. The ground beef filling gets amazing flavor not just from the El Yucateco® Black Label Reserve but honey and lime, too. My husband told me to right down the proportions of this recipe after his second bite so that I could recreate with. Little did he know I already planned to turn this into a blog post and had notes! The flavors match better than I’d hoped with a slightly sweet taste and habanero that gives it a little heat that doesn’t stay with you. It’s a good thing I made 36 empanadas!
If my daughter eats all the empanadas and is still hungry, the good news is that the bottles of El Yucateco® are the perfect size to throw in your purse to flavor food on the go. I actually wish I had some last Friday when I went out with a friend and had guacamole that needed flavor. We added some salt and did what we could, but some El Yucateco® Black Label Reserve in there? Fab!
Of course, some places figured this out already. The House of Blues and select stadiums now have El Yucateco® on site to kick up flavor as needed. Best of all, since they’re music lovers just like my daughter and I, they want to give you (and me!) the chance to win a once in a lifetime musical experience, and they’re giving away gift cards weekly, too.
Are you surprised that El Yucateco® lands in my cart all the time? Yeah, me neither! The hot sauce comes from habaneros hand picked from their own fields. The flavor has just the right amount of heat without overpowering other ingredients, and it has a fantastically rich flavor, too. Check out more El Yucateco® recipes for inspiration.
If you haven’t figured it out, I adore the El Yucateco® Black Label Reserve. It’s a rich, smoky sauce without being sweet, though in this recipe is pairs perfectly with the sweetness of honey. This is the sauce I use when cooking with meats. Try this in your next pot of chili. When I make chicken or fish – or even veggies – I use the El Yucateco® Red Chile Habanero. This includes fresh red habanero peppers, tomato, and select spices, and seasonings. It’s spicier but has less vinegar than other hot sauces I’ve tried. Really, no matter what you make, El Yucateco® makes and sells a sauce that works. You can find all seven varieties at Walmart and plenty of other retailers.
This time, we’re focusing on these puff pastry empanadas. Using puff pastry dough means I can make them faster than using traditional empanada dough. The filling flavor still shines, and the flaky pastry makes eating them fun. They’re the perfect hand pie to take on the go!
7 Tips for Making Your Puff Pastry Empanadas
- Make sure your filling isn’t dry. When you bite into that flaky crust, you want a juicy mouthful. After cooking your filling, add some broth and reduce it most of the way. This concentrates additional flavor and gives you needed moisture.
- Don’t overfill the empanadas. It’s so tempting to want to fit it all in there, but you need less than you think. Too much filling either bursts through the dough or prevents you from sealing it.
- Keep your puff pastry dough cool. When puff pastry dough gets warm, it tends to stretch and actually sticks together less. This makes both forming and sealing the puff pastry empanadas more difficult. I work with about a quarter of the puff pastry dough at a time, leaving the rest in the fridge – especially in warmer weather.
- Use some of your egg wash to help seal your empanadas. I always have extra egg wash left over when I make anything that needs it. Rather than trashing it, use it earlier in the recipe. Dip your finger in it and run just enough to barely moisten the edge of one half of the empanada. That helps the puff pastry dough cling to the other edge. Gently press along the edges to start the seal.
- Use a fork to crimp the edges of the empanadas. Press firmly without pushing through the dough and gently draw it away from the empanada. It looks pretty and keeps the filling from leaking out.
- Puff pastry sheets have one side with more flour than the other. Make sure the more heavily floured side is the outside of your empanada. Even with the egg wash around the rim, the side without the flour seals better than the side with more flour.
- Use egg wash. The egg wash provides that golden flaky crust on the outside that you see in bakeries with their pastries. Add a teaspoon of water to your egg before you whisk it with a fork to create an egg wash that’s easier to work with than straight egg.
Honey Habanero Ground Beef Filling for Puff Pastry Empanadas
Start by browning your beef in a skillet over medium heat. Use a wooden spoon to break up the meat periodically. While the meat cooks, cut your onion. Add it to the beef once you chop it and let it cook with the ground beef.
Mince your garlic, and add it to the pan after the beef browns. Add the cumin, paprika, salt, pepper, honey, and El Yucateco® Black Label Reserve hot sauce, then stir. Add the broth and cook until the broth reduces almost entirely and is just barely visible. Remove from the heat, and add the lime juice. Stir to incorporate, and let cool slightly while you prep the puff pastry.
Open thawed puff pastry dough and gently let it unfold slowly to prevent cracks. If the dough does crack, gently press the edges together. They’ll seal enough when baking. Use a large biscuit cutter or wide glass to cut circles from the puff pastry dough. The two packages will make 36 rounds. Work with nine at a time, and return the remaining circles to the fridge.
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
Add a bare teaspoon of filling to the circle, just off center. Dip your finger into your egg wash and run along the rim of the circle. Pull the longer edge over, and gently press together. Use a fork to crimp the edges, then repeat until all circles are filled.
Place empanadas on a baking sheet covered with a silpat or parchment paper. Use two baking sheets, with half on each sheet. Dip a pastry brush into your egg wash and lightly coat the exposed surface of each empanada.
Place one baking sheet in the fridge and bake the other for 13-15 minutes until the puff pastry empanadas are golden brown and flaky, then bake the second sheet. Alternatively, bake both at the same time on different racks and switch positions halfway through baking.
Serve immediately with salsa or guacamole. Store any leftovers in a tightly sealed container in the fridge. Be sure the puff pastry empanadas have fully cooled before closing the container to avoid them getting soggy.
Have you ever tried puff pastry empanadas? What’s your favorite filling?
This simple empanada recipe uses puff pastry to create a quick appetizer filled with amazing flavor and not too much heat. Honey, habanero, and lime complement each other perfectly in these puff pastry empanadas. Serve with guacamole or salsa for a perfect dish to serve at parties or take with you on the go.
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 t cumin
- 1 t smoked paprika
- 3/4 t salt
- 1/2 t pepper
- 3 T honey
- 2 T El Yucateco® Black Label Reserve hot sauce
- 1 T lime juice
- 2 packages puff pastry sheets, thawed
- 1 egg (mixed with 1 t water for egg wash)
- Start by browning beef in a skillet over medium heat. Use a wooden spoon to break up the meat. While the meat cooks, cut your onion. Add it to beef once chopped, and let it cook with the ground beef.
- Mince garlic, and add it to the pan after the beef browns. Add cumin, paprika, salt, pepper, honey, and El Yucateco® Black Label Reserve hot sauce, then stir. Add broth and cook until it reduces almost entirely. Remove from heat, and add lime juice. Stir to incorporate.
- Use a large biscuit cutter or wide glass to cut circles from the puff pastry dough. The two packages will make 36 rounds. Work with nine at a time, and return the remaining circles to the fridge.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Add a bare teaspoon of filling to the circle, just off center. Dip a finger into your egg wash and run along the rim of the circle. Pull the longer edge over, and gently press together. Use a fork to crimp the edges, then repeat until all circles are filled.
- Place empanadas on a baking sheet covered with a silpat or parchment paper. Use two baking sheets, with half on each sheet. Use a pastry brush to add egg wash to empanadas.
- Place one baking sheet in the fridge and bake the other for 13-15 minutes until the puff pastry empanadas are golden brown and flaky, then bake the second sheet.
- Serve immediately with salsa or guacamole. Store any leftovers in a tightly sealed container in the fridge. Be sure the puff pastry empanadas have fully cooled before closing the container to avoid them getting soggy.