You know what I’ve realized is really underrated? Stinky cheese, you guys!
And gruyere is one of the best, especially when it’s stuffed in a crisp and flaky empanada with lots of other yummy stuffs!
You’d think with me living in Chile and everything, that I’d make more Chilean recipes right? Especially empanadas since they are to this culture what the cheeseburger is to the US. They’re the closest thing you’ll find to fast food here. Honestly though, Chilean food is usually the last thing on my recipe idea list because it’s the only type of food that we can get easily. It’s like when I had some friends who were working in a fast food restaurant. They’d tell me how after working the fryers all day the smell of a french fry was closer to nauseating than appetizing. It’s a similar situation, make sense?
Oh, and um speaking of deep fried foods, I may or may not have spent last weekend mastering the art of frying cheese on a stick. At first I was simply dipping cheddar chunks into batter and dropping them in but that making a horrible mess of things in my frying oil because all the cheese was oozing out, seperating, and burning. I then realized that it’s all about the stick so that you can get them completely coated and sealed and after that each one got less and less messy. So by themselves, fried cheese sticks aren’t exactly a new or complex idea, but I’ve gotta tell you, I just have this feeling that some dangerous things are going to come of this new skill of mine, dangerous.
Also, I fell like I cheated a little on these because I used a short-cut, and you guys know how much I’m into doing everything from scratch. I used pre-made empanada wrappers, which are pretty widely available here, and have to admit it was really nice to have these little pockets of goodness made and ready in half the time for a change. The amount of food I make everyday seems to be increasing all the time, so I’m starting to really appreciate time-saving products like these wrappers when I feel they aren’t completely lacking in quality. The ones I used were locally made and very fresh so that’s one good thing.
All right, so these empanadas (or ’empanaditas’ as they are called in Spanish culture for their miniature size) are all about the flavors of comfort food. They may even remind you of the holiday season a little bit with the herbs and creamy turkey filling, but they also make a great snack any time of year.
I’ve been trying to make extras whenever I try new flavors of these type of snacks to freeze some for emergencies. That’s another thing I think I’ve mentioned before about this culture, the level of comfort there is in friends dropping by for surprise visits. We seem to keep having these unexpected little gatherings so having some party bites ready to pop in the oven can be a major life-saver in said situations.
One last thing, if you’d like to make your own wrappers or you can’t find the packaged kind you can either use my empanada wrapper recipe that I posted with this recipe or you can use frozen pie crust also. One way or another, I definitely think you need to be eating these at your next shin-dig or just as soon as possible for a quick lunch or snack!
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/2 pound ground turkey
- 1 teaspoon ground sage
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon rosemary
- 1/4 cup flour
- 2 - 2 1/2 cups whole milk
- 1 1/2 cups (4 ounces) grated Gruyere cheese
- 1/3 cup (1 ounce) grated parmesan cheese
- 1 18-count package empanada wrappers or you can make them using the pastry in this recipe
- 1 quart of oil for frying
- In a large high-sided skillet, cook onion and garlic in 1 tablespoon of butter for about 3 minutes until soft. Add turkey and cook until fully browned, breaking it into pieces as it cooks. Remove as much of the turkey and onions from skillet as you can using a slotted spoon and place in a separate dish, leaving grease in pan. Stir in sage, salt, pepper, nutmeg, paprika, thyme, and rosemary.
- Turn off heat and sift in flour while stirring until you have a thick and pasty mixture. Turn on heat to low and slowly pour in milk while whisking until completely smooth. Continue whisking until thickened. Add turkey back to pan and stir until heated then remove from heat and stir in the cheeses.
- Spoon filling into the center of each wrapper. Wet the edges with water and and fold in half to form little half-moon shaped empanadas. Press edges together to seal and place them on a parchment lined tray.
- Heat oil to 350 degrees F (180 C) in a dutch oven or deep fryer and fry the empanadas in batches until crisp and golden brown (4 - 6 minutes), flipping once. Transfer to paper towels to drain.
- Serve hot.