An empanada is nothing more than a "stuffed" sandwich. After I made these, I had a ton of other ideas on how to twist the filling and also change up the bread used, so I'll be playing around with this recipe for a while to see what all I can come up with . After the recipe I'll post some of my ideas on fillings and bread combinations. This recipe came together right at 30 minutes, which included thawing meat in the microwave. I did bake the crescent rolls a little longer than called for, in my oven I went a full 15 minutes, because I wanted to make sure the bottom crust wasn't soggy. The extra baking time was the ticket. After assembling the pastries, I put about 2 tablespoons (a good pinch) of Colby jack cheese on the tops of each empanada. I love that crusty cheesy taste it gave.
Barbecue Beef Empanada
1 pound ground beef
1 teaspoon Lawry's Seasoned Salt
1 teaspoon cracked pepper
1 cup Barbecue Sauce (my family likes K.C. Masterpiece)
1 1/2 cups Colby Jack Cheese
2 cans Crescent Rolls
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a medium skillet brown ground beef, adding seasoning salt and black pepper. Remove from heat. We use 90% lean so we don't have any fat to drain, but drain if there is any liquid in the pan. Add the barbecue sauce and cheese, stirring until the cheese completely melts. Set aside. Line a cookie sheet with parchment. Let me interrupt this post by saying, "PLEASE start using parchment paper, you'll thank me one day, you really will." Open the crescent rolls and unroll. Press two triangles together to make one large rectangle. Place about 2 tablespoons of the filling in the center of the crescents, fold over and seal the edges, you can just press them down with your fingers. Repeat until you have assembled all the crescents (8 in all). Place a pinch of cheese on top of each empanada. Bake for 15 minutes at 375, until golden brown.
- Cordon Bleu: Diced chicken and ham, mixed with Mozzarella and Swiss cheese, add some Dijon Mustard.
- Pizza: Pepperoni, ground beef, and pizza/spaghetti sauce, with mozzarella cheese.
- Fajitas: Chicken or beef, with peppers and onions, add salsa and cheese.
- Add your families favorite veggies to any of the above.
- White Tuxedo: Diced chicken, crumbled bacon, sauteed mushrooms, peas, Alfredo sauce and cheese.
- Use Pie crust (use a fork to seal the edges) for any or all the above fillings.
- Reuben (I really can't stand Reuben but some people really, really love them)
- Breakfast: Use biscuits if you want adding sausage, bacon, ham, veggies with scrambled eggs.
Have fun with this recipe and use your imagination to come up with your very own.