The incentive for this dish came from this jar of hot Chili Peppers I have had in my cabinet for quite some time. Why I purchased them in the first place is long gone.
That led me to look for possible components and coming up with an idea of how to use them. I had purchased a bag of 21-25 count shrimp on sale for $9.99 and thought I would use the shrimp with the chili peppers in some form.
My brain went into overdrive and I immediately thought of empanadas. An empanada is a stuffed pastry that is either baked or fried. You will find them in Latin American, Western European, Southeast Asian or in Mexican cuisine.
Start out by making the dough.
- 2 cups of flour
- 1 cup of cold butter - cut into chunks
- 6 oz. softened cream cheese
- 1 egg
- 17 shrimp (21/25 ct) - peeled, deveined (Save the shells for shrimp stock - place in a container and freeze for later use.) I ended up cutting each shrimp down in 3-4 pieces for easier filling.
- 2 chili peppers - minced (use fresh or from a jar - not dried)*
- 1/3 cup salsa or picante sauce
- 1/2 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend (Plus some for extra topping if you desire.)
- 2 tsp. garlic - minced
- 2 tsp. paprika
- 1 tsp. granulated garlic
- 1/2 tsp. onion powder
- 1/4 tsp. cumin
- salt and black pepper to taste
- Oil for frying - or you can bake them - see directions below.
- To the raw shrimp add in the paprika, granulated garlic, onion powder and cumin along with a pinch of salt and 2 pinches of black pepper. Mix well and refrigerate and allow the flavors to "marinate" the shrimp for about 1/2 hour.
- Take out the rested, refrigerated dough and when it is softened somewhat, begin to roll the dough out on a floured surface to 1/8 inch thickness.
- Cover the dough with plastic wrap or a towel.
- Pull out the shrimp from the refrigerator.
- In a saute pan, heat up over medium low heat, 1 tbsp. oil. Add in the shrimp and saute until the shrimp are pink, and cooked about half to three quarters done. Remove from heat, place in a bowl and cool.
- Add in the salsa, minced chili peppers and cheese. Combine completely.
- Use a round cutter, or glass or a pirogi or empanada tool cut out 4 inch circles. Add filling to one side. Sprinkle with more of the cheese on the shrimp and close. Crimp with a fork or your fingers.
- Fry at 350 degrees in oil until golden brown, OR bake in the oven at 350 degrees for approximately 35-45 minutes until golden brown.
|Spray the aluminum foil lined pans with a cooking spray.|
*If you like spicy foods you can up the amount of red chili peppers.
Serve the finished product with either salsa or picante sauce and a dollop of sour cream perhaps. Enjoy and manga!