Oh - and just in case you couldn’t tell which one was baked and which one was fried ... the one on the left was fried and the one of the right was baked.  Fun!

I used the store-bought empanada disks.  You could make your own dough and roll it out or I’ve seen recipes that use store-bought crusts.

The filling I used was from the Top Notch Top Round Chimichangas.  I love making the Spicy Shredded Beef in the pressure cooker - but the slow cooker (Crockpot) works equally as well - it just takes a whole lot longer for the beef to cook.

If you’re making the Empanadas in the oven, you’ll want to preheat your oven to 425 degrees.  Depending on how many you are making for the meal, you’ll need baking sheets that are coated in oil - I used foil plus oil (rhymes, huh?).

All you have to do is roll out the empanada disk just a little bit (will be easier to fold over) and then place your filling in the inside.  About 1 1/2 tablespoons of filling per empanada according to Eva’s recipe.

  1. *You may need to coat your rolling surface in a little flour if they are sticking. 

I also put a few slices of pepper jack cheese on top of my beef filling.  But it’s interesting - the cheese isn’t really noticeable when you bite into the cooked empanadas ... I read that in Eva’s recipe - and thought for sure I would notice - but the cheese just kind of melts right into the filling - maybe if I would have used more cheese ... but Eric and I both thought the amount seemed just right.

Then use your fingers and moisten the edges with a little water and and crimp the edges with a fork to seal.  Repeat with the remaining empanadas.  Cover the completed ones with a damp towel to keep from drying out too much.

Then - for the Baking method - just brush the tops of the empanadas with a little vegetable oil and bake until golden brown - about 15 - 18 minutes.

OK ... now for Frying the empanadas ...

Here’s Eva’s directions:

Fill a skillet 3/4 inch deep with vegetable oil and heat to 360 degrees over medium heat.  (*I use my infrared thermometer when frying this precisely in a skillet.)

If frying a large batch - preheat your oven to 200 degrees in order to keep them warm before serving.

Line 2 baking sheets with paper towels.  Then fry the empanadas in the oil until golden brown and crisp, 4 to 6 minutes, turning once.

Remove with tongs, letting excess oil drip back into the pan - and transfer to a paper towel-lined baking sheet.

Keep warm in the oven while you fry the remaining.  Serve hot ... And I like to top them off with a sprinkling of cheese - a bit of salsa - and a dollop of sour cream.

Since I love the mini pies that are making a big comeback - it’s no wonder I like empanadas.  These were the perfect size to even treat them like a hand-held pie (if I didn’t top with salsa, sour cream, etc.).

Eric and I really liked them cooked both ways.  I think it’s just preference - bake or fry ... or do a little of each.