Being as it’s Cinco De Mayo….I thought this weekend’s blog should be Mexican related. So, I flipped through my journal and found this gem. Empanadas are one of my favorites, but let’s face it, the original fried recipe is not exactly healthy. So, I adapted it to be dairy free and a little healthier a long the way. WARNING: I took a lot of liberties from tradition here. The end result was really good though!
I started by preheating the oven to 375*, because my first change is to bake the empanadas instead of frying.
Then I removed the skins of one twelve ounce package of hot italian turkey sausage. It went into a skillet over med-high heat to brown. While browning, crumble the sausage up well. Probably about twelve to fifteen minutes until the sausage is nicely browned. Once browned well, transfer to a paper towel lined plate to drain away any excess fat.
Clean and cube four large yukon gold potatoes. I leave the skin on them, but feel free to peel them if you like. They went into my four quart stock pot with enough cold water to cover. Boil for about fifteen minutes until fork tender. Then the potatoes get drained and rinsed. Back into the pot (or a large mixing bowl) they go and smash them well.
I added the turkey and an eight ounce bag of Daiya Cheddar (dairy free soy cheese, feel free to use whatever cheese makes you happy) into the pot with the potatoes. Smash and mix well to combine.
This next step really tortured me….I tried and tried to come up with a good dough recipe with no success. So I put a shout out to my latino friends and found out that hands down, the response was “Use Goya Empanada Discs”. So, in the end, that is what I did. Although, I really wanted to make my own dough!
Take out one package of the discs to defrost ahead of time. Spoon a generous (but not to generous or it will seep out) amount of the filling onto one side of the disc. Fold the other half over and crimp the edges with a fork to seal.
The empanadas go onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Spray with canola oil cooking spray, lightly dust with cinnamon and nutmeg and into the oven they go. Thirty minutes later they come out piping hot and ready to enjoy. Enjoy we did, these did not last long in our house!