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Eden Hertzog is blowing our minds with her pro empanada-making.

I’m going to be very honest with you; getting these posts out lately is tougher than it seems. Pregnancy the second time around with a very active toddler and a very active business is just about all I can handle. Never mind the housework and the cooking. Oy vey. By the time 7:30 p.m. rolls around I’m basically sitting on the couch drooling in front of my computer. Sexy, huh?

I’m still cooking – though maybe not as much and maybe not as well – but getting out my camera to nab a nice shot while Cedar attempts to stir something scalding hot hasn’t been working out for me.

So when I have a small food victory, like this one I am about to share, it really counts.

I made empanadas! Empanadas! The things you love so much because they are so yummy but you would never really make. Well, guess what? They’re freakin’ easy to make, and if you have a kid like mine who will eat most anything tucked inside some kind of pocket or dumpling, then you’re going to love empanada-making. I made the filling from things we had in the fridge that were nearing their due date, but you can basically fill them with anything you’d like.

I had a feeling Cedar would also love rolling out dough and filling it with stuff, and he did, which is why he insisted on wearing this apron. I know he looks sweet here but I think I have created a real monster in the kitchen. This kid wants to cook everything with me, all the time. He’s two, remember? Do you have any idea how that goes down?

ROASTED SQUASH, SPINACH AND CHEDDAR EMPANADAS

For the Dough: 

You will need to let the dough rest for an hour before you roll it, so try to plan ahead. It only takes about 5 minutes to make.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • ¼ cup cold water
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten

In a food processor, pulse the flour, salt, oil, and vinegar a few times until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add in the egg and pulse a few more times. Add the water bit by bit, just pulsing enough to incorporate. This should only take about 30 seconds. Wrap and chill the pastry for 1 hour. It will also keep in the fridge for later use if you want to make more through the week.

The Filling

  • 1 scallion, minced
  • 1 cup roasted squash (you can use sweet potato as well)
  • A couple handfuls of spinach, washed, dried, and chopped finely
  • A few thin slices of cheddar cheese
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and Pepper

Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a medium frying pan. Add scallion and cook until translucent. Add spinach and sauté until well-wilted. Add squash and then mash it all around with salt and pepper.

(save the cheese)

Preheat oven to 400F. Lightly flour your rolling surface and divide dough into 8 balls. Roll each one out into a flat disc. Lay a small piece of cheese in the centre of each, then put about 3 tbsp of filling in each (like a ball). Fold in half, seal the edges, and prick a few holes in the top. Brush with an eggwash.

Lay the empanadas on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for about 20 mins, or until the tops are golden.

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