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Pimento Cheese Empanadas

Ingredients

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

Directions

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.
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