Empanadas are great. There are so many ways you can fill them. I have made them as an appetizer, meal, and dessert! This tasty finger-food was what I prepared for our New Year's party over the weekend. If you are fortunate enough to have a good international food section at your local market, then you can actually buy the empanada dough premade (Goya discos). Nice little short cut! But, I will post the dough recipe with the filling here for those who do not have access to these, or prefer to make your dough for scratch! This recipe doubled nicely.
FOR THE DOUGH: Mix the flour, sugar, shortening, and chili powder in a blender. When the dough starts to thicken add the water and egg yolks. The dough will be come very firm. Knead the dough until it is well blended. Then roll out the dough and cut into rounds (like tortillas) that are about 1/4 an inch thick and about 10 centimeters across).
FOR THE SOFRITO: Finely chop the onion and garlic. Chop the pepper into 1/4" (or smaller) pieces. Heat a large frying pan with a heavy bottom over medium heat. Pour in enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Put the onions into the pan and sauté them until they are transparent, reducing the heat if necessary so as not to burn them. Add the green pepper and continue to cook for 5 minutes, adding olive oil if necessary. Be sure to stir often, so vegetables do not burn. Add the minced garlic and sauté for 1 minute more. Pour the crushed tomatoes and paprika into the pan and mix well. Continue to cook for about 10-15 minutes.
FOR THE BEEF FILLING: Brown your beef over medium heat. Season with the Adobo. Drain all the grease completely from your pan. Add in your prepared sofrito mixture. And lastly, your cream cheese. Wait for cheese to get melty.
Grease your baking sheets. Add a spoonful of prepared mixture to your discs. Fold over and seal. Brush a little melted butter on the closure. Fork-press close to secure. Be careful not to over fill or leave any gaps so that your filling will not leak out.
Bake in a preheated oven at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes or until edges are crisp.