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Tex-Mex Empanadas

Ingredients:

1 sweet onion, diced

1 jalapeno, diced

1 red bell pepper, diced

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1 lb ground chicken

12 oz ground chorizo

3 tbsp taco seasoning

2 tbsp cumin

½ cup sweet corn

½ cup black beans

4 oz onion and chive cream cheese

1 tbsp fresh cilantro

2 17.3 oz package puff pastry

Olive oil

salt and pepper

1 egg, beaten

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook diced onion, jalapeno, and bell pepper with some olive oil for about three to five minutes or until softened. Season with salt and pepper and add minced garlic, cook for another minute. 

To the skillet, add ground chicken and chorizo, taco seasoning, and cumin. Cook until the meat is fully browned and there is no pink left. Now you can taste it to see if you would like to add any other seasonings to your liking. Drain the excess liquid from the skillet. Add in the corn, black beans, softened cream cheese, and cilantro and continue to cook on low heat until the cream cheese is melted and combined with the other ingredients. Remove from the heat and cool for about 15 minutes. 

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the puff pastry dough to make a roughly 10×10 inch square. Use a 5 inch cutter to cut the dough into 6 rounds. If you don’t have a 5 inch cutter use a cup or bowl that is about 5 inches to cut your rounds. Re-roll the leftover scraps and cut about 2 more rounds. 

To the center of each round, place a heaping tablespoon of the cooled filling. Brush the edges with egg wash and fold over, crimping the edges to seal the pocket. Place on a baking sheet with parchment paper and brush the tops with egg wash. Bake for 20-22 minutes or until they are puffy and golden brown. Serve hot!

Commentary:

These Tex-Mex empanadas are like a savory hand pie with a twist! The ground chicken and chorizo combine to make this delicious treat that can be served as an appetizer or on the go! You can also easily alter this recipe by cutting it in half to make a smaller batch or doubling it for a crowd. These are great for leftovers the next day or to freeze for later but *disclosure – there are rarely any leftovers with this dish. You can also make the filling in advance and freeze it until you are ready to put your empanadas together, then just thaw it out for about a day in the fridge and you are ready to go!

My favorite thing to put on these empanadas is my homemade jalapeno ranch. You can easily make this at home in a blender with a jalapeno, a clove of garlic, just a bit of cilantro, a can of hatch green chilies, a tablespoon of chives, ½ cup of mayonnaise, ½ cup of sour cream, a pinch of salt, and a dash of Worcestershire sauce. Blend these ingredients together until it is smooth then add buttermilk as needed to achieve your desired thickness. You can also add some dill or your favorite hot sauce, up to your personal preference!

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