Quinoa and chorizo empanadas are, to me, a celebration of old and new traditions. The old tradition being eating empanadas, as I grew up eating it all the time. And the new tradition would be my love for cooking with quinoa. Yes, I just discovered quinoa maybe a year or two ago, but I have been cooking with it all the time. Have you tried it?
It’s funny to think that, to me, cooking quinoa is a new tradition, as quinoa is actually an ancient grain that was a staple food for South American Indians. It was so important to the Incas that they even named it “mother of all grains” and many of their traditions and ceremonies involved the quinoa. Interesting, huh?! What for others were a custom thousands of years ago, is a new tradition for me and my family now.
What about empanadas? do you eat them often? Have you even had one? I hope you have, and if not, fear not, as I will show you the ways so you can make the very best empanada ever.
So now that quinoa its not foreign to me, I cook with it all the time. I enjoy quinoa so much that I even shared a quinoa 101 post in the blog before. What’s best about quinoa is that I’ve found this powerful little grain to be a great addition to many recipes I currently cook. Like salads, soups, baking, sweets and so much more including these tasty empanadas.
Empanadas are versatile little pockets that can be filled with just about anything and served for either breakfast, as an appetizer, afternoon snack, or even as a sweet treat. This savory version is filled with chorizo and quinoa. I love this combination because the chorizo is so bold and full of flavor that I like how its oils and aromas cover the quinoa. When pairing chorizo and quinoa, I recommend cooking the quinoa with very little salt. The role of the quinoa, in this case, is to add a nice texture, volume and bring all the great benefits that come with eating this nutrient-rich grain.
To make the empanadas you could 1) buy store bought dough or 2) make authentic empanada dough that will change everything completely and will make you fall in love with them. The recipe for the dough to make this size empanadas is below, but I suggest you take a look at a previous post where through pictures I show you how to make empanada dough from scratch in a cinch. Ahh here is another post about a delicious empanada recipe as well.
Please go ahead and try this empanadas. They are great! The Spanish chorizo is lovely and the quinoa from Bob’s Red Mill superb.
- 1½ cups flour
- 6 tablespoons butter, soften
- ¼ cup cold water
- 1 egg
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 2 cups Spanish chorizo, grated
- ½ cup uncooked Bob's Red Mill quinoa
- TO MAKE THE FILLING
- Cook chorizo in a sauté over medium-high heat until it releases it's oils. About 5-10 minutes.
- Cook quinoa by adding it to a pot of 1½ cups boiling water. Cover and let cook until all the water is absorbed. Remove from heat, fluff the quinoa with a fork, cover and keep it covered for 15 additional minutes.
- Add cooked quinoa to chorizo and stir, allowing the quinoa to be coated by the oils of the chorizo.
- TO MAKE THE DOUGH
- Mix flour and soften butter with a fork.
- Add egg and mix with a fork until egg is broken down, then start using your hands to incorporate well.
- Add water and keep mixing until you can form a ball. If too wet try adding a little more flour until you get the right consistency.
- The dough should be flexible and not stick to your hand.
- Cover and let rest for 15 minutes.
- Roll the dough in a floured surfaced until it's about an ⅛ of an inch thick.
- Cut circles/discs of about 5 inches in diameter.
- Roll the excess dough again and keep cutting circles until it’s all gone.
- TO ASSEMBLE
- Fill half of the discs with quinoa and chorizo filling, making sure you leave at least ½ inch around the edges.
- Wet the edges with water and using your fingers.
- Fold the dough discs and press down the edges to seal.
- You can seal once more by pressing around the edges with a fork.
- Use a deep pan with very hot oil to fry them until they are golden brown.
disclosure: This is a compensated post but all opinions and ideas are 100% my own