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Jalapeño Monterey Jack Empanadas

Servings: 12

Ingredients:

Empanada Dough:
12 ounces flat stout beer, at room temperature
1/8 ounce dry yeast (half of a 1/4-ounce packet)
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons olive oil
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt

Filling:
1 bunch cilantro, washed, dried, stems removed
2 1/2 cups Wisconsin jalapeño monterey jack cheese, shredded
4 ounces roasted pork loin, shredded
2 egg yolks, light beaten
Salsa or guacamole

Cooking Directions:

For the dough, combine the beer, yeast, sugar, and oil. Let sit 10 to 15 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients. Using a heavy-duty mixer, mix until the dough is smooth and elastic. Add more flour, if necessary, until the dough is easy to handle. Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover, and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour. Punch down and let rise an additional 1/2 hour.

For the filling and assembly, preheat the oven to 350°F. Separate the prepared dough into two portions. For each portion, roll the dough to 1/16-inch thickness. Using a cookie cutter or a glass of 3 inches diameter, cut into circles. On one half of each circle, stack 3 to 4 cilantro leaves, a scant tablespoon of cheese, and a sprinkling of pork shreds. Brush the egg yolk around the rim of the circle. Fold in half. Seal the edges, using the tines of a fork. Place on a baking sheet. Brush the tops with the egg yolk. Serve with the fresh salsa or guacamole for dipping.

Variation: Regular monterey jack may be used in place of jalapeño monterey jack. Salsa jack or pepper jack may also be used. If substituting regular jack, add pickled jalapeños.

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