Corn Empanadas are perfect for picnics or pop a couple of these creamy corn pasties in your lunch box.
From BBC Food
For the pastry
450g/1lb plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
60g/2¼oz butter, diced into 1cm/½in cubes
60g2¼oz lard or vegetable shortening, diced
into 1cm/½in cubes
For the béchamel sauce
225ml/8fl oz milk
¼ small onion, finely chopped
2 black peppercorns
1 bay leaf
1 blade mace
2 parsley stalks
15g/½oz plain flour
For the sweetcorn filling
3 spring onions, finely chopped
½ green pepper, seeds removed, finely chopped
1x340g/12oz can sweetcorn, drained
handful parsley, chopped
2 tbsp grated parmesan
pinch of chilli powder or cayenne pepper
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp caster sugar
For the pastry, mix the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Add the diced butter and lard and rub into the flour using your fingertips until the mixture has the texture of fine breadcrumbs. Add cold water one teaspoon at a time, mixing between additions with a table knife, until the mixture comes together into a soft dough (the dough will take anything between 3-6 tbsp water). Roll the dough into a ball and wrap well in cling film, leave to rest in the fridge for an hour.
For the béchamel, heat the milk in a pan with the onion, peppercorns, bay leaf, mace and parsley stalks. Once simmering, remove from the heat and leave to infuse for 10 minutes. Strain the milk into a jug, discarding the flavourings.
Melt the butter in a small pan. Remove from the heat and stir in the flour. Return to the heat and cook for 1-2 minutes, constantly stirring. Remove from the heat, and gradually add the infused milk, stirring well after each addition. Return the sauce to the heat and bring to the boil, stirring constantly. Simmer the béchamel sauce for 2 minutes, and set aside.
For the sweetcorn filling, melt the butter in a frying pan and gently cook the spring onions. Add the green pepper, sweetcorn and enough of the béchamel sauce to bind everything together. Cook the mixture over a medium heat for 3–4 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and add the parsley, parmesan, a pinch of chilli or cayenne powder, and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
To assemble the empanadas, remove the pastry from the fridge, and roll out to pound coin thickness (3mm). Cut circles from the pastry using a saucer as a guide, or use a 12cm/4½in pastry cutter.
Put two teaspoons of filling onto one half of each pastry circle, it’s important not to overfill the empanadas at this stage. Wet the edges of the pastry with a little water, fold the non-filled half of the pastry over the filled half, and either crimp the edges together to seal or use a fork to mark the edges. Repeat with the remaining pastry circles.
Heat the vegetable oil in a large pan and fry the empanadas in batches until golden and cooked through. Add more oil between batches to prevent the empanadas from sticking to the pan. Sprinkle with caster sugar and serve your Creamy Corn Empanadas warm.
Top recipe tip
It’s important not to overfill the empanadas, so use your judgement when portioning the filling to prevent the pastries leaking when cooking. Try making these into mini versions and serve with drinks as a canapé. Use a small pastry cutter to cut the pastry into small circles, using a teaspoon of filling and then sealing as per the method. If making for a vegetarian diet, substitute the lard in the pastry with the same quantity of butter.
Creamy Corn Empanadas by Connoly McCausland
From The Hairy Bikers: Mums Know Best