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Spicy Duck Empanadas With Cilantro Cream

  • Yield: 12 empanadas


  • DOUGH:
  • 3 cups bleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup vegetable shortening, chilled
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/2 stick), cut into small pieces and chilled
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten with 1/2 cup cold water
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped yellow onions
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped green bell peppers
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 cups Duck Confit or shredded cooked duck breast
  • 1/2 cup chopped pimiento-stuffed green olives
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1/4 cup store-bought tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Emerilís Southwest Essence
  • 1 teaspoon Creole Seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, or more to taste
  • Vegetable oil for deep-frying
  • Cilantro Cream


  • To make the dough, combine the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. Using a pastry blender, cut in the shortening and butter until the mixture is crumbly. (Or rub the mixture between your fingers.) Stir in the egg mixture and knead the dough in the bowl until smooth. Form into a ball, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  • Meanwhile, make the filling: Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and bell peppers. Cook, stirring often, until softened and caramelized around the edges, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the garlic and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the confit and cook until hot, about 2 minutes. Add the green olives, raisins, tomato sauce, pine nuts, vinegar, both Essences, the sugar, and salt and bring to a simmer. Lower the heat to medium-low. Simmer until the mixture thickens, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from the heat and spread the filling on a plate to cool completely. Adjust the seasoning to taste.
  • Roll the dough out on a floured surface about 1/8 inch thick. Using a bread plate or a coffee can as a guide and a sharp knife, cut out 5-inch rounds of dough. Put about 1/4 cup of the filling just below the center of each round, fold it in half, and press the edges together to seal. Crimp the edges of the pastry with a fork. Gather up scraps of dough and roll out again as needed to make 12 rounds.
  • Pour enough oil to come halfway up the sides into a large deep skillet or electric deep fryer and heat over high heat to 360?F. Fry the empanadas, in batches, without crowding, until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain.
  • Serve hot with the cilantro cream passed on the side.