When I hear the word empanada, I generally think of a greasy fried shell made of all purpose flour and butter filled with even more greasy cheese and meat. UMMMM…Well, these are kinda like that, except that they are made with whole wheat and baked, not fried, but fear not, they are every bit as delicious. Even though this recipe is a bit more healthy than the norm, they do have plenty of cream cheese, and even a good health foodie like me likes a little butter in her empanadas! I served mine with my roasted tomato salsa, which is awesome, but if you can find a jelly that is both fruity and spicy like mango habenero or cranberry chipotle for example, I would suggest serving them with a side of that too.
For the pastry dough:
2 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup cold butter, cut into small cubes
2/3 cup ice cold water
Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. In a food processor, pulse flour and butter until it resembles bread crumbs, with the food processor running, slowly pour in the water. Let process until the dough comes together. Divide the dough into golf ball sized balls and place on the baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and let refridgerate while you prepare the filling.
For the filling:
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1/2 cup of frozen corn, thawed (or fresh corn removed from the cob if it is in season)
2 poblano peppers, roasted peeled and cut into strips (roasting instructions here)
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 cup light cream cheese
Sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper
1 egg plus one tablespoon of water, beaten, for brushing the empanadas
1 lime, cut into wedges for serving
In a large skillet over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the onion and corn, cook stirring occasionally for about 8 minutes until the onions are soft and translucent. Add the poblano strips and spices, stir to coat. Add the cream cheese to the pan and cook stirring frequently until the cheese is smooth and melted. Add salt and pepper to taste, cover and set aside.
Preheat oven to 375°F. Now you can begin assembling the empanadas. Take a ball of dough from the baking sheet and press with a tortilla press lined with plastic wrap, or roll out with a rolling pin into a thin disk about 4 inches in diameter. Place one tablespoon of the filling on one side of the disk, fold the other side over the filling, and crimp the edges with a fork so seal. Continue this process until all of the dough is used. Brush the top of the empanadas with the egg wash and bake for about 30 minutes until golden brown. Serve with salsa or spicy jelly, and lime wedges.