Large-curd, creamy cottage cheese provides a surprisingly successful base for the filling of these quick snacks. Store-bought cottage cheese can be substituted, but it won't work quite as well here, because it has more moisture.
The recipe doubles easily. The empanadas are best served just after they are made.
We found packages of La Saltena brand empanada wrappers (frozen) at European Foods Export-Import in Arlington. Be sure to use the ones labeled specifically for baking (para horno), as opposed to frying.
Servings: 9 empanadas
- 9 store-bought empanada wrappers (see headnote)
- 1 cup large-curd, creamy cottage cheese, preferably homemade (see related recipe)
- 1/4 cup chopped unsweetened cranberries (may substitute chopped sun-dried tomatoes, for a more savory flavor)
- 1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted (see NOTE)
- 1 tablespoon capers, drained and rinsed
- 2 ounces (half a small can) imported, oil-packed tuna, preferably Spanish
- 1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper (may substitute sweet paprika)
- 1 tablespoon good-quality extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large egg yolk, beaten with 2 or 3 tablespoons water
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Arrange the empanada wrappers in a single layer on a clean work surface.
Gently combine the cottage cheese, cranberries, pine nuts, capers, tuna and aleppo pepper in a mixing bowl. Drizzle with the oil.
Divide the mixture among the wrappers, heaping a small mound at the center of each one. Brush the egg wash mixture around the edges, then fold over each wrapper to form a half-moon shape. Press or use the tines of a fork to seal the edges. Transfer to the baking sheet; brush the tops with the remaining egg wash. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown.
Serve warm or at room temperature.
NOTE: Toast pine nuts in a small dry skillet over medium-low heat for several minutes, until fragrant and lightly browned, shaking the pan as needed to keep them from burning.
From deputy Food editor Bonnie S. Benwick.
Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.
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