Yield: 15 small empanadas
Ham and Cheese Empanadas make the perfect appetizer!
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 stick unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons cold water
1 cup Smithfield Ham, finely diced
1 cup Colby Jack Cheddar cheese, grated
1 egg, whisked with 1 tablespoon water
vegetable oil, enough to deep fry empanadas (approx. 4 inches)
To make the dough: in a food processor, mix flour, salt, and baking powder for 2 seconds. Add butter and pulse 4-6 times. Slowly drizzle in half cup of water and carefully check dough; what you’re looking for is a slightly sticky texture, not dry at all. If needed add two tablespoons water. Turn dough over into plastic wrap and sprinkle with flour. Wrap dough into disc and refrigerate for an hour before use.
To make empanadas: preheat oil and monitor temperature (you want to fry empanadas at 325F). Remove dough from refrigerator and let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes before rolling out.
Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to about 1/4 inch thickness and cut into 4 inch discs (using circle cookie cutter or a cup). To fill: place ham and cheese in center of disc, brush sides with egg wash and fold in half over the filling. Pinch sides to secure and refrigerate while working on the rest of the dough. Let empanadas rest for 15 minutes before frying. Fry until golden brown by flipping halfway through cooking (they take about 3-4 minutes to completely fry). Serve with ketchup while hot!