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 Cheese may be used in place of Jalapeño Monterey Jack Cheese. Salsa Jack or Pepper Jack Cheese may also be used. If substituting regular Jack Cheese, add pickled jalapeños.

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