Photos Richard Casteel

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    For the Pimento Cheese:
  • 16 ounces cream cheese
  • 4 ounces fromage blanc
  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3 teaspoons leek powder
  • 4 cups grated cheddar
  • 4 cups grated mimolette cheese
  • 7 ounces piqullo peppers
  • 3½ ounces fermented red pepper
  • 2 teaspoons smoked salt
  • For the Empanada Dough:
  • 3⅓ cups flour
  • 4 sticks butter
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup vinegar

Make the pimento cheese:

In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients and mix until incorporated.

Make the empanada dough:

In a bowl, combine butter, water and vinegar. In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients. Fold dry ingredients into wet mixture until a dough has formed. On a floured surface, roll out dough. Using a biscuit cutter or cup, cut 3-inch rounds from dough. Let dough rest in refrigerator for 10 minutes (so it can firm up a bit) before proceeding with recipe.

Make the empanadas:

  1. In a large pot with high sides fitted with deep-fry thermometer, begin to warm peanut oil to 350 degrees.
  2. While oil heats, assemble the empanadas: Remove dough from refrigerator and drop a couple tablespoons of pimento cheese into center of each round, taking care to leave a border. Fold dough over cheese to form a half moon, crimping edges with a fork to seal.
  3. Fry empanadas in batches until golden brown, about 6 to 7 minutes.
  • Chef Stephen Bonin of Geraldine's in Austin, Texas

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