The Empanaditas Chiapacorceñas

Modify slightly the word "empanadas", adding the diminutive suffix to it and you get: empanaditas... Basically an empanadita is a smaller sized empanada, a format that is more convenient to be served as finger food or appetizers. In the case of this recipe however, in the city of Chiapa de Corzo people almost always make their regional empanadas as an empanadita, with this smaller size; you will never hear of empanadas chiapacorceñas!

Recipe for the Empanaditas chiapacorceñas

* 2.5 lb. flour
* 2.5 lb. pork chops, cooked and shredded, or ground pork meat
* 1 lb. ripe red tomatoes
* Pinch of dried Epazote
* 1 lb. shortening
* 5 eggs
* 3 teaspoons yeast
* 2 peppers of Castile
* 1 medium onion
* 1 clove
* butter for the baking pan
* Icing sugar to sprinkle just before serving


1) To prepare these little empanadas chiapacorceñas we will first shape our flour like a little fountain by first mixing this flour with a little salt and water, then, at its center we place the yeast, the eggs and 3/4 of the shortening or lard (softened), knead all ingredients to a smooth dough and let everything sit overnight at room temperature, covered with a cloth, to allow our dough to double in size.

2) The next day, we prepare the filling: mix together the meat from the pork chop, tomato, epazote and onion and stir the ingredients together. Fry everything with lard or butter, adding the cloves and peppers.

3) Divide the dough into four balls, separately roll each one as thinly as possible, then baste with shortening, sprinkle flour and fold the dough on itself. This operation is repeated three times, which will give our puff pastry dough eight layers.

4) Finally, brush with lard once more. Now you have the four flat dough surfaces, cut them into small pieces. Roll and spread again to the form of small round tortillas; spoon a teaspoon of the filling at the center of each one and fold in the traditional form of empanada, seal and decorate the edges by executing the "repulgue" technique. Gently pierce once each one with a fork.

5) Preheat the oven, grease your baking pan and arrange the empanaditas over it. Bake until golden; to serve, sprinkle a little bit of sugar over. Makes 20 servings.

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