Back in the 1980’s sun dried tomatoes were “in” and appeared everywhere. Here is a recipe for a wonderful hors d’oeuvre that could easily be made larger for a nice dinner. I made these for Mo’s 50th as a blast from my past catering days. Serve alongside a soup and salad for a nice Meatless Monday dinner.
Ingredients for pastry:
1/2 lb cream cheese, softened
1/4 lb butter, softened
1 1/2 cups flour
Place the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until just combined. Add the flour and pulse until it forms a ball. Remove from processor and place on plastic wrap or parchment. Flatten into a fat disk and refrigerate for 1 hour.
6 Tbsp.minced sun dried tomatoes, more julienned for placing on top of filling
6 Tbsp. chopped cilantro, more individual leaves for placing on top of filling
3 oz. goat cheese
1/2 lb. cream cheese
salt and pepper to taste
1 egg lightly beaten
You can make this by hand or process in a food processor by placing all the ingredients, except for the julienned sun dried tomatoes and whole cilantro leaves, and process together. Season with salt and pepper.
Place the dough on a floured surface and roll out to about 1/4-inch thick. Using a cookie cutter of your choice, make indentations in the dough, fairly close together so you can get a good yield and not have to re-roll the dough.
Place some of the filling in the center. Place a julienned piece of sun dried tomato and some of the whole cilantro leaf on top. Using your finger or a pastry brush, carefully pull the dough up and over the filling.
With a fork, crimp down the edges. Slice a very small venting hole on the top. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Once all the dough and filling is used, you can freeze the pastries for up to 3 months. Otherwise, allow them to rest in the refrigerator for an hour.
Cooking: You can bake or fry these empanadas. I prefer frying them. To do this heat 1 inch of oil in a deep pan to about 375 degrees. Fry the pastries until they are golden on each side. Drain on paper towel.
To bake: Brush the tops of the empanadas with some of the egg wash. Place in a preheated 350 degree oven and bake for 20 minutes. Te cooking time will vary depending on the size of your empanadas.