I've made empanadas before and mom used to make them once in a while when I was a kid, but I've never had them quite like this. It's been a long time since I've made them but I keep telling myself I should make some so I found this empanada recipe in the Newlywed Kitchen Cookbook the perfect opportunity.
The only ingredient I didn't use from the recipe was the raisins. I'm just not a very big raisin fan. There were quite a few differences in this recipe than what I'm used to, from the filling to the crust. The beer in the crust added an interesting flavor and the filling had a lot of interesting ingredients I would never think of using.
There was one thing about the recipe that confused me. The ingredients listed chopped chorizo. I'm not sure how you can chop chorizo, it's like asking for chopped ground beef. I haven't used chorizo a whole lot, despite being half Mexican, but the times I have used it, it's the consistence of squishy ground beef and when cooked it turns to complete mush. I know there are many brands and maybe there are some that you can chop, but not the ones I've used.
I spent a lot of time helping my mom make tortillas when growing up so I think I am pretty good with a rolling pin. So, instead of rolling the dough out one sheet of dough and cutting out circles, I cut the dough in half and put the other half in the fridge. I separated the half into 8 balls and rolled each one out into a small tortilla shape and filled and baked that half. While those were baking, I got the other half of dough out of the fridge and rolled those out the same way, filled, and deep fried that batch. Rolling out individual circles eliminates wasting any dough. I was able to fill and fry the 8 empanadas just as the other 8 were finished baking. The empanadas my mom and I made were always fried so I wanted to see which tasted better since the recipe gave the option. I wasn't surprised to find that the fried turned out crispier and flakier, but I was surprised the baked turned out as good as they did. If you don't want to deal with all the oil and babysitting them, baking them is a perfectly good alternative and it's also healthier.
Since we didn't eat them all for dinner I put the leftovers in the freezer and will just bake them.