Turkey Picadillo Empanadas


This was more time-consuming than I expected (I didn’t mentally account for the extra 20 minutes needed to bake the empanadas – oops!) but the results were really good.  I really wish FreshDirect sold regular ground turkey instead of just the all-white-meat version – fat free ground meat is pretty much the definition of useless.  (When I buy my KitchenAid meat grinder attachment, I can buy boneless skinless thighs and grind my own.  In the meantime, I just use a little more veg oil in the initial saute.)

  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 each chopped: med onion, red pepper, green pepper
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped (opt)
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • dash crushed red chili flakes
  • 6 cloves minced garlic
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/3 c cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup manzanilla olives, chopped
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 1/4 cup capers
  • 1 10-oz pkg frozen peas, thawed
  • 1 pkg refrigerated pie crust (Pillsbury “just unroll” is perfect for this)
  • 1 egg, beaten, mixed with a little water

In a large skillet, heat up enough veg oil to saute the ground turkey.  (If your turkey is all white meat, you’ll need more.)  Saute, breaking up the turkey with a spoon until it is cooked all over and starting to brown.  Add onion through vinegar, stir to combine and saute an additional 5 minutes.  Add raisins, capers, and olives, cover and let simmer about 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350

Unroll pie crust and cut into circles.  Spoon a lump of picadillo into the center of each one and then bring the edges together to form a half-moon.  Seal with a little water around the edge.  Bake empanadas on a jelly roll pan lined with parchment and brush the top of each one with the egg wash.  Bake 20 minutes or until golden brown.  Depending on the size of your dough circles, you’ll get 8-12 empanadas out of 1 package of pie crust (2 crusts).  You will have a TON of picadillo left over, which you can eat on its own or with rice and beans.

If you’re feeling really ambitious on the empanada front, I recommend Gourmet magazine’s empanada dough.  It’s a bitch to work with, but the results are truly delicious.  (The potato-chorizo empanada filling which accompanies that recipe is pretty good too.)

No pictures tonight!  You all know what empanadas look like, right?

Dylan Report: After a bit of a rough start tonight, he eventually decided that this was “yummy” and ate almost an entire empanada and then picked at the loose picadillo, eating mainly the peas and bits of turkey.

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