I was cleaning out my freezer the other day, and came across empanada wrappers that I had bought with the intention of making spinach and feta empanadas. I was overly ambitious that day, and put them aside for another occasion. I totally forgot about them until now. So now I’m ready to make the spinach and feta empanadas, but I don’t have any spinach or feta. Once again, it’s Whole Foods to the rescue. I’m so glad one opened up within walking distance of my house. I didn’t want to buy an entire container of spinach or feta for the empanadas. Instead, I went to the salad bar, and bought two separate containers of each. It was so much cheaper!
I also didn’t have a recipe to work of off, which is dangerous for me, because recipes are like my security blanket. I need the boundaries and guidance of a recipe to help me make a dish. But this time I threw caution to the wind, and went for it. They turned out surprisingly well, however, the filling could’ve been a little moister. I was going to add an egg, but I knew I was going to fry, not bake them, and was concerned about the egg cooking thoroughly. The taste was great! I love the combo of spinach and feta, and even added a little dill. It was like eating a tiny hand-held spinach pie. I’ll need to buy more empanada wrappers to try this again.
- 1 package empanada wrappers (I found Goya in the freezer section)
- 1 bunch of baby spinach
- ½ – ¾ cup feta cheese crumbled
- ¼ – ½ teaspoon dill
- ¼ cup onion chopped finely
- salt and pepper
- canola oil for frying
make the filing:
Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to a medium saucepan over medium high heat. Add the chopped onion and stir frequently until the onion is translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Add the spinach and cook until the spinach is wilted. Add dill and season with salt and pepper. If the mixture looks a little too dry for your comfort, add a little milk or cream. Remove from heat and let cool. Once cool, stir in the feta cheese.
form the empanadas
Place a spoonful of the spinach and cheese in the center of the disc.
Fold one side of the disc over, forming a half-moon. Pinch the edges together to close the empanadas and seal the contents inside.
To make the rope-like edge, grab the corner of the pinched dough in between your thumb and your index finger. Pull slightly and fold over onto itself. Repeat this process all along the rest of the edge of the empanada.
fry the empanadas:
In cast iron skillet or small frying pan, add 3-4 tablespoons of vegetable oil over medium high heat. Place an empanada with the folded side down, into the oil. Fry until the empanadas are golden brown, about 2 minutes. Turn over the empanada and fry the other side until golden brown. I would recommend cooking one empanada at a time. It’s a little time consuming, but it can be challenging cooking more than one at a time!
Remove the empanada from the oil it on a cooling rack over a baking sheet. Repeat with remaining empanadas.