Sweet Potato, Sausage and Cheese Empanadas

April 9th, 2011

My acupuncturist recommended eating more sweet potatoes (since it’s something I do eat). So we’ve been keeping them on hand and using them in a variety of ways. This recipe has a few steps that need to be done ahead of time, so I’ll write it in order of preparation. Oh, and again, your amounts of crust to sweet potato may vary. The seasonings in the mix can be altered to your taste, and the sausage can be omitted if you want a vegetarian version. For me, this recipe made 13 empanadas that were 4-5 inches long.

To cook Sweet Potatoes:
1. Preheat oven to 350F
2. Wash 2 medium sweet potatoes and prick skins all over with a fork
3. Place sweet potatoes on a foil-lined pan and bake at 350F for 30 minutes or so, or until the skin starts to look shrivelled or sunken
4. Allow to cool and store in the refrigerator

Cook Sausage
1. Remove the skin from 3 maple breakfast sausage links
2. Crumble the sausage in a skillet heated to medium-low
3. Cook until browned through
4. Reserve any fat rendered off and let cool

¾ Cup All Purpose Flour
1 tsp Salt
½ egg (mix in custard cup and reserve other half for later in the recipe)
6 oz chilled butter, cut into cubes
¼ – ½ C cold water

1. In a small food processor (or by hand, if you’re so inclined) mix flour and salt
2. Add the ½ egg and butter and process until incorporated
3. Add water a couple of tablespoons at a time and pulse until the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl and can be shaped
4. Knead the dough a couple of times and press into a disk
5. Wrap dough in plastic wrap
6. Chill dough for at least 20 minutes

Now for the main event!


2 medium Sweet Potatoes, cooked
1 tsp Cumin
salt and pepper to taste
½ tsp Todd’s Crabby Dirt
3 Maple Breakfast Sausage links, meat cooked
1 ½ C shredded Cheese (I used Queso Cotija)
1 recipe Empanada Dough
½ Egg

1. Preheat oven to 400F.
2. Remove the skins from the sweet potatoes (it should slip right off) and mash the innards in a medium bowl.
3. Mix in cumin, salt, pepper, Dirt and sausage until evenly incorporated.
4. Remove a piece of dough about the size of a walnut and re-cover the remaining dough.
5. On a floured work surface, roll the dough out until it’s a circle about 1/4” thick – should be about 6 inches across
6. Place a heaping 2 Tbsp of sweet potato mix across the center
7. Place a Tbsp of shredded cheese on top of the mix and press to keep them together
8. With your finger tips, moisten outer edges of the dough with warm water (I moved the whole thing to a separate place for this, to keep my work surface dry)
9. Fold the dough in half, keeping the filling away from the edges
10. Press the edges together and crimp with a fork
11. Placed on a foil-lined baking sheet
12. Brush the top crust of the empanadas with the remaining ½ egg
13. Bake the empanadas at 400F for about 30 minutes or until they start to turn golden on top and around the edges


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