Empanadas are filled pies or turnovers that are found in one form or another around the world. This recipe is based on one from Argentina and is tasty, yet simple to prepare.
1 ½ cups ricotta cheese
3 egg yolks, lightly beaten
4 green onions, chopped including the greens
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
½ teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon ají chile powder or cayenne
Salt and ground white pepper
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup vegetable shortening
Or substitute 1 package prepared, unbaked pie crusts
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Combine all the filling ingredients and chill slightly.
To make the crust: in a large mixing bowl, combine the flour and salt. Cut the shortening into the dry ingredients using a pastry cutter or 2 forks. The mixture should resemble coarse cornmeal.
Add 4 to 5 tablespoons of cold water, one tablespoon at a time, and lightly toss with a fork to incorporate. Add only enough water so that the dough will hold together and can be gathered into a ball.
Separate the egg into small bowls and lightly beat the white. Beat the yolk with 1 tablespoon of water.
Gently roll the dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/4-inch thickness and cut circles 2 to 2 ½-inches in diameter. Place a spoonful of the filling off-center on a circle. Brush the edges with the egg white, fold over and crimp the edges to seal.
Note: If using ready-made pie crusts, don’t roll the pastry before cutting.
Brush the empanadas with the egg yolk, place on a lightly oiled baking pan, and bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden.
Remove and cool on a rack before serving.