Traditionally, these little meat turnovers are made with pastry dough. Using wonton wrappers is quicker and easier, and makes for a pleasingly crispy shell.

Ingredients Directions

For the filling

1 tablespoon canola oil, plus more for cooking
1/2 cup minced onion
1/2 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
2 small garlic cloves, minced
1/2 pound fresh chorizo (casing removed), chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
salt and pepper

For the wrappers

1 package wonton wrappers (approximately 50)
1 egg, lightly beaten for an egg wash

Prepare the filling

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook, stirring, until softened. Add the garlic and cook for an additional 2 minutes, then add the sausage and cumin. Cook until the sausage is brown and thoroughly cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Prepare the empanaditas

Using a 3-inch cookie cutter, cut a round out of each wonton wrapper. Place a teaspoon of the sausage mixture in the middle of each round. Dab the egg wash around the edges, using your finger or a pastry brush. Fold it over, forming a semi-circle, and press the tines of a fork into the edges to seal them and create a decorative border. After assembling, refrigerate the uncooked empanaditas for about 20 minutes before cooking.

To cook, cover the bottom of a large saucepan with canola oil and heat over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add enough empanaditas to fill the pan without touching (they should sizzle when added to the pan). Cook 3 to 4 minutes on one side, then turn and continue cooking for another 2 minutes or until well-browned on both sides.

Remove from pan and drain on paper towels. Continue cooking in batches, keeping the cooked empanaditas on a baking tray in a 200°F oven to stay warm.

Serve warm.

Makes about 50 empanaditas.

Make-Ahead Factor

The sausage filling can be made up to 2 days ahead and kept covered and refrigerated. The empanaditas can be assembled and frozen, uncooked, in single layers separated by plastic wrap, for up to 1 week. Thaw fully in the refrigerator, then cook according to the recipe.

From Cocktail Parties, Straight Up! Easy Hors D'oeuvres, Delicious Drinks and Inspired Ideas for Entertaining with Style by Lauren and Anne Purcell.