Recipe courtesy of Emeril Lagasse
1 hr 20 min
40 min
40 min
4 empanadas


  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons solid vegetable shortening
  • 1 1/2 cups filling of your choice (such as crab or spicy beef)
  • 1 egg beaten with 2 tablespoons water, for egg wash
  • 1 cup masa harina (available in Mexican or Latin American markets)
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Southwest seasoning


Combine masa harina, flour, cornmeal, baking powder, Southwest seasoning, salt and 3 turns pepper in a medium bowl and mix thoroughly. Cream in shortening with a fork until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add about 1 cup water, a little at a time, working dough until all water is completely incorporated. Use just enough water to make dough come together. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and pat into a 12- by 3-inch log. Refrigerate until firm, about 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Remove dough from refrigerator and divide log into 4 equal sections, each about 3 inches long. Carefully roll out each section between sheets of plastic wrap to an 8-inch circle, about 1/4-inch thick. Handle dough with care to keep from cracking. Brush top sides of rounds with egg wash. Mound filling in center of each round and fold dough to form a half-moon shape. Crimp edges with a fork and brush with remaining egg wash. Transfer empanadas to a parchment or wax-paper-lined baking sheet and bake 35 minutes until golden.


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