There was something about the turnip in my crisper drawer that spoke to me one day. It somehow begged to be roasted and stuffed into little dough pockets. And of course some diced ham seemed like a nice match too. Feeling like I needed something green to tuck in there too, frozen peas seemed easy. (Like “Samosas” according to my husband.)
So that is how these empanadas were created…
I bake mine but I can’t emphasize enough how delicious they would be/are deep fried!
Surprisingly easy, I prefer to roast rather than steam/boil my turnip. And yes that is some sweet potatoes on the pan too. I figure if I am roasting anyway why not throw some other stuff on there too. And I often roast the a day or two ahead when I have the time so these can come together quicker. Saute the onion and ham first to get a little more flavor and color on them. Be sure to let the filling cool before you stuff the dough rounds.
roasting the turnip
saute the onions, ham and peas
filling: ready to be stuffed
I usually use the larger “disco” dough rounds from brands like Goya or LeFey. These are found in the freezer section, perhaps in an ethnic foods part of the freezer. If you can’t find these you could definitely use some refrigerated dough product or if you are really ambitious maybe make your own. They are essentially just thin dough rounds that get stuffed, sealed and baked. Or Fried. Have I mentioned that these really are delicious deep-fried. Sadly (Insert sad sigh here) I never fry anything at home. I reserve fried treats to occasional indulges when out at restaurants. It’s the same with ice cream. (Another sad sigh here.)
bake at 375 degrees on parchment lined sheet pans for 20-30 mins until browned
These are great to make ahead and have around for parties, lunch/dinner on the go, or an office pot-luck. The only advantage to the non-fried version like these, is they are good room temperature or warm and will re-heat easily and beautifully.
dough rounds (10-15 of the larger 6″ +/-size or 20 of the smaller 4″+/- size) and it also depends on how full you fill each one…but the dough rounds can be frozen/re-frozen.
1 med turnip (couple pounds??) peeled, cut, roasted on a sheet pan with a little oil oil, S&P at 400 degrees till tender and yummy. Mashed and cooled.
1/2 large sweet onion diced ( I used “Maui”)
1-2 cloves of garlic minced fine – more if you like
3/4 lb +/- diced cooked ham
2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp chili flakes
3/4-1 cup of frozen peas
Salt and pepper to taste and a couple of tablespoons of olive oil to saute
Saute the onion garlic and ham in the Olive oil. Add the dry spices and stir for a minute or two. Add the frozen peas and stir a few more minutes. Take off heat and combine with the mashed turnip. Taste for seasoning. After the filling has cooled, spoon a few table spoons onto a dough round. Flap over the dough and use a little water on your finger on the outer edge to seal them shut. Now either use a fork along the edge or roll the edges onto themselves. Brush with melted butter or spray with butter spray and bake at 375 degrees on a parchment/silpat lined sheet in the preheated oven for 20-30 mins till puffed, golden brown and delicious. These freeze beautifully either stuffed and not baked off or baked and cooled.
See some of my other stuffed creations here, here and here!