Here’s a fascinating video recipe … Why … because it’s in Tagalog aka Filipino. Shows how the Spanish got around …


Historically this turnover may have come from Spain and after getting here was further influenced by immigrant Cornish miners. This flour or corn based hand held, easily transportable meal can be either sweet or savory and appears all over Latin America in many forms. If you live near a Latin or foodie market you’ll probably be able to find a mix or pre made dough otherwise use the following recipe. The dough formula presented here can be made by hand or in food processor as you wish just be sure to let it relax in the refrigerator for at least an hour or overnight.

General Purpose Empanada Dough

2 cups all purpose flour

Pinch of cayenne or hot red pepper flakes

½ teaspoon chicken powder

¼ cup shortening, butter, or lard

2 to 3 ounces ice water


1. Combine and mix the flour, granulated base

2. Add the shortening and cut in either by hand or using a mixer/processor

3. Gradually add the ice water till the dough comes together, wrap and chill

4. Roll the dough out and cut into 4 circles, or shape each individually free form

5. Place filling on bottom half, brush bottom edge with egg wash

6. Fold the top half over the bottom and crimp to seal with fingers or a fork

7. Brush the tops with egg wash and bake at 350 till golden


1 pound raw ground beef, or shredded braised/cooked lamb, beef or chicken

2 tablespoons flour

1 cup diced onion, red-yellow-green or sliced whites of leek

1 tablespoon each minced garlic and chipotle pepper

2 tablespoons tomato paste or 1 small tomato diced fine

1 cup appropriate stock or water with stock base

To taste granulated beef or chicken base and fresh ground black pepper


  1. Saute the protein in olive oil till cooked or heated
  2. Add the flour and mix well , then the onion cook 5 minutes
  3. Add curry, garlic, chipotle, tomato, allspice, thyme and cumin mix well
  4. Add the stock or water bring to a simmer
  5. Adjust seasonings with granulated base and black pepper
  6. Remove from heat add bread crumbs, cool
  7. Cut dough circles as instructed in the above dough recipe

You can fill these turnovers with just about anything you have in your pantry and they’re particularly well suited to vegetarian application if you leave out the animal fats and egg wash.