Hatch Green Chile & Cheese Empanadas

MAKES 18-20 SMALL EMPANADAS

We used a 4 ½-inch round cookie cutter, but you could also use a mason jar lid or water glass. How much filling you spoon on each dough round will depend on the size of your cookie cutter, so adjust accordingly. Spoon 1 ½ Tbsp. to 2 Tbsp. filling on each round.

INGREDIENTS

For the Filling (yield: approximately 2 ¾ cup):
12 ounces diced hatch green chiles, mild or medium (drained if from can)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican
1 teaspoon paprika
Fresh ground pepper to taste
Pinch of cayenne pepper for more heat (optional)
1 ½ tablespoons AP flour
1/3 cup whole milk
4 ounces Oaxaca cheese, crumbled

For the Dough:
3 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces and placed in freezer for 20 minutes.
1 egg
6-8 tablespoons Whole milk

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DIRECTIONS

For the Filling:

Heat olive oil, add onions and cook until soft and translucent about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 minute. Stir in the hatch green chiles, salt, cumin, oregano, paprika, pepper and cayenne (if using) and cook over medium-high heat for another 5 minutes. Add the flour and cook until toasty, about 2 minutes. Pour in the milk and cook until mixture thickens and just begins to turn golden brown, about 3 minutes. Turn off the burner and stir in the cheese until melted. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Transfer mixture to a bowl and allow filling to cool completely before filling dough rounds. Mixture can be stored in the fridge for 1-2 days in advance of making empanadas.

For the Dough:

In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the flour and salt until combined.

Add in the butter and pulse about 15 pulses. Add in the egg and then the milk—2 tablespoons at a time—and pulse until dough just begins to come together. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and pack it into a ball. Cut the dough in half and shape into two (6-inch) rounds. Wrap each round in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour or up to 3 days.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a large sheet tray with parchment paper.

Roll out one of the discs to ¼-inch thick. Use a cookie cutter (we used a 4 ½-inch) to cut out smaller round discs. Place empanada discs on a parchment-lined sheet tray and place in fridge while you roll out the other disc of dough.

Spoon 1 to 2 tablespoons of filling in the center of each round. Moisten the outer edge of each round with water and fold the dough in half to form a half moon. Pinch the edges together to seal and then fold the sealed edge slightly over itself. Crimp dough with a fork. Brush each empanada with egg wash (1 egg whisked with 1 tsp. water) and bake until golden, 10 to 15 minutes. Serve warm.

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