These fried empanadas are filled only with melted cheese, and are quick and easy to make. Experiment with the filling – some people like to add a little bit of chopped onion or use a variety of cheeses. You can also bake these empanadas with good results.
- 2 cups flour
- 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening or lard, softened
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- ¾ cup milk
- ½ cup water
- 450 g mozzarella, or other meltable cheese
- vegetable oil, for frying
- Whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and sugar in a large bowl.
- Gently mix the vegetable shortening into the flour.
- Place the milk and water in a saucepan and heat until almost boiling. Stir the hot liquid into the four mixture. Add more water <em>(1 tablespoon at a time)</em> if mixture seems to dry and crumbly, or add more flour if mixture is too wet and sticky.
- Knead dough gently until well mixed and homogenous. Divide dough into 16 portions, and roll each piece into a ball. Let dough rest for 5 minutes.
- Grate or finely chop cheese.
- Roll each ball of dough into a 15 - 17 cm diameter circle. Place one ounce of cheese in the centre of each dough circle.
- Fold dough in half over the cheese to form a semicircle. Press down firmly along edges to seal. Roll edge inward over itself and press down again to seal. Crimp edge decoratively with fork, pressing to seal.
- Heat several centimetres of vegetable oil to 175°C in a deep sided skillet, pot, or deep fat fryer. Fry empanadas in batches, turning at least once, until golden brown. Drain empanadas on paper towels.
- Empanadas can be kept warm in a 90°C oven for up to 1 hour before serving. Serve warm.