Small Plates

By Marcus Samuelsson | August 18, 2014

Empanadas with Peanut-Mango Sambal

Image by amanky

This recipe is inspired by the Argentines I play soccer with every weekend on the Lower East Side. Empanadas are a great snack, blending the holy trinity of savory, spice, and just a touch of sweetness. This recipe is from New American Table.

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 ounce fresh yeast
  • 2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 Anaheim chile with seeds and ribs removed, chopped
  • 1/4 pound ground beef
  • 1/4 pound ground pork
  • Pinch freshly ground nutmeg
  • 3 drops Tabasco
  • 1/4 cup dark raisins
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, finely chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 large egg whites
  • Peanut-Mango Sambal (recipe below)
Peanut-Mango Sambal
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted roasted peanuts
  • 2 bird's-eye chiles, crumbled
  • One 3-inch piece ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 mango, pitted and cut into 1/4-inch cubes


For the Empanadas:

Preheat the oven to 325°F.

Bring the milk to a simmer in a small saucepan and remove from the heat. Add the butter and let melt. Making sure the milk is not above 160°F, add the yeast and let sit for 5 minutes until foamy.

In a large bowl, mix the flour and salt together with your fingers. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour the yeast liquid into the well. Slowly combine the liquid with the flour, using your hands to work the flour into the well until all the liquid has been absorbed and a ball of dough forms.

Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead the dough until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, cover with a damp cloth, and let rest in a warm, draft-free place for 30 minutes.

While the dough is rising, make the filling. Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, chile, beef, pork, nutmeg, and Tabasco and cook until the meat is cooked through, about 6 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the raisins and hard-boiled eggs. Season with salt and pepper.

Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and roll out to a 12 x 1/4-inch square. Cut into 3-inch squares. Place 1/2 tablespoon of the filling in the corner of each dough square. Fold the dough diagonally over the filling, creating a triangle. Seal the seams with a little water and crimp with a fork. Place the empanadas on a baking sheet and brush with egg whites. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the dough is golden. Serve with the peanut-mango sambal.

For the Peanut-Mango Sambal

Crush the garlic and coriander to a paste in a mortar with a pestle. Add the peanuts and chiles and crush lightly. Transfer to a medium sauté pan over medium-low heat and cook until the peanuts are golden, about 5 minutes. Add the fresh ginger, ground ginger, coconut milk, and sugar. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Transfer to a blender, add the fish sauce, and puree until smooth. Fold in the mango cubes and serve.

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