Pumpkin Empanadas

I put these together recently for a family birthday party. As Jake and I have started our sixth annual Pumpkin Challenge (more on that soon), I have to find creative ways to bring pumpkin into our diet, even when we’re sharing with others. These empanadas were perfectly savory and delicious, and the sweet saucy filling paired well with a bright salsa topping. Certainly tasty finger food for a party, complete with pumpkin to usher in the fall season!

Makes approximately 14 empanadas.

Ingredients

  • Olive oil
  • 1 small white or yellow onion
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 1 jalepeno
  • 1/2 pie pumpkin
  • 3-4 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup sweet corn
  • 2 oz chocolatey mole or sweet barbecue sauce
  • salt
  • 2 pounds puff pastry dough, store bought or homemade
  • Condiments like salsa verde, sour cream, or barbecue sauce

Instructions

  • Dice the onion and bell pepper into 1/4-inch dice. In a large skillet, heat 1 tbsp olive oil over medium heat, then add the onion and bell pepper. Cook until translucent, stirring occasionally. Add more oil as needed.
  • Peel and de-seed pumpkin. Cut into 1/4-inch small cubes. Add the pumpkin to the skillet when the onions are translucent. Mince jalepeno and garlic then add.
  • When the pumpkin has mostly softened, add a bit more oil. Add the corn to cook for about 1 minute, then add the mole and stir to fry and incorporate the seasoning for about 5 minutes. Taste and adjust salt, then remove from heat to let the filling cool to just warm or even fridge temperature.
  • When the filling is cool, on a floured counter, roll out the puff pastry to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut circles approximately 5 inches in diameter using a biscuit cutter or small bowl.
  • Pre-heat the oven to 375°F.
  • Place one wrapper in the palm of your hand, outspread facing up. Cup your hand slightly to catch the filling. With your other hand, use a spoon to scoop about 1 1/2 tbsp filling onto the wrapper. Fold the sides of the circle together into a half moon and press the edges together. Press the edges with the tines of a fork to secure them and make a pattern while you’re at it.
  • Complete all of the empanadas and move to lightly greased baking sheets. Bake for 30 minutes, rotating the trays from top to bottom at 15 minutes.
  • Remove and enjoy with salsa, sour cream, hot sauce, or dipping sauces!

 

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