Empanadas with Butternut Squash, Turkey and Blue Cheese

Do you have a big family? Do you guys get together and have big dinners where everyone is sitting at the table, there are plates piled with food everywhere and everyone is talking at the same time? Are you close? Do you do this on the regular or just on special occasions? My family is medium sized there are about twenty of us when you get us all together, but we all have such big personalities you would think there were way more people. We’re completely crazy and we LOVE each other, and by love each other I mean, all up in your business, sitting in your lap, eating off your plate, wearing your clothes, answering your phone, no secrets, telling you like it is, and lots and lots of kisses.

It’s pure bliss. Chaos and bliss.
One of my favorite things about my family is… well I can’t pick a favorite, but I love that we all love to eat, we eat often, for a long time and a lot of food. We fight over it, like there isn’t enough, when there is food for days and leftovers are prized possessions. One of my favorite memories is standing in my uncle’s kitchen cold tile under my feet scooping fried leftover ham and eggs up with Arabic bread straight out of the pan with all my cousins and laughing.
This last weekend is what memories are made of. A combination of Issa coming back from his deployment in Iraq, Thanksgiving, and two cousins’ birthdays, which you can imagine was pretty much a 96 hour party, I thought I would never want to see food again. (That lasted for about an hour, which is coincidently my drive home) But here I am making delicious turnovers/empanadas/savory pockets with leftovers and eating them like I have seen food in forever. I have a problem.
This recipe will make eight little empanadas. After you make these; you have to promise me you will make them again with a completely different filing. Promise?

2 Cups Flour
5 TB Shortening
1/3 Cup White Wine
1 TS Salt
1 TS Sugar
1 Egg

1 Cup Diced Butternut Squash
1 Cup Shredded Roasted Turkey or Chicken
1/3 Blue Cheese Crumbled
½ Yellow Onion Diced
12 Sage Leaves
Salt and Pepper

Dice Butternut Squash and onions, toss with Olive Oil and Sage, Salt and Pepper. Roast in the oven until tender and caramelized. Depending on the size of your dice, this should take about 20 minutes, less if you dice smaller and more if you dice bigger.
This is a good time to start on the dough. Measure out Flour, Salt and Sugar into your food processor, pulse in the shortening until it is sandy looking. Pulse in the egg and wine until the dough comes together in a ball. Place on a floured surface and roll as thin as you can, about 1/8 of an inch. Using a glass, cookie cutter, bowl or whatever you can find to measure and cut circles that are three inches across. Place the circles on a greased baking sheet and paint each circle lightly with water.

After the Butternut Squash mixture has cooled, add in shredded turkey and blue cheese crumbled. Once well mixed, spoon the mixture onto the circles of dough. Place only a small amount so that the sides of the pockets won’t pop open while they bake. Fold over the pocket and crimp the edges with the tines of a fork. Paint the tops of the pockets with beaten egg; this will make the tops shiny and crisp. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes or until the pockets are browned. Remove from the oven, cool and eat!
These little pockets make a great afternoon snack or appetizer for a cocktail/wine party. If you are serving them as finger food, I recommend a little dip with them, maybe chipotle sour cream or something like that.
I may or may not have eaten them in bed dipped in Baba Ganoush, it’s a possibility.   

1 comment:

  1. This is an awesome idea for Thanksgiving leftovers...one I've never seen before. Thanks, Rhiana! And I absolutely LOVE your site! So fancy!