Tasty, meat-filled turnovers from Latin America get a low-carb twist. The name empanada literally means “wrapped in bread” but here the wrapping is made of keto-friendly almond flour, eggs, and ricotta cheese. Filled with a tasty ground beef mix and served with a dipping sauce, these empanadas will have everyone saying “Gracias
- 300 ml (150 g) almond flour
- 1 tsp (5 g) baking powder
- ½ tsp cream of tartar
- 1 tsp xanthan gum
- 2 eggs, divided
- 2 tbsp butter, at room temperature
- 2 tbsp ricotta cheese
- 1 tsp heavy whipping cream (for egg wash)
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- ¼ red onion, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 110 g ground beef
- 60 ml tomato sauce
- ¼ red capsicum, minced
- 1 zucchini, finely diced
- 1 tsp salt, or to taste
- ½ tsp pepper
- 1 egg, hard boiled and finely chopped
- 125 ml sour cream
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 fresh jalapeño, chopped
- 10 g fresh cilantro
For the filling
- Heat the oil over medium heat. Stir in the onion and cook while stirring until it turns translucent.
- Add in the garlic and ground beef, stirring until meat browns./steps_item] Pour in the tomato sauce, add bell pepper, zucchini, salt, and pepper. Stir and cover. Simmer for 3 minutes.
- Taste and season with salt and pepper to taste if needed. Remove from the heat. Mix in the minced egg and set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk to combine almond flour, baking powder, cream of tartar and xanthan gum.
- Add half of the eggs, the butter, and the ricotta.
- Using the hook attachment of a mixer, knead until it has become a smooth ball of dough (about 2 minutes).
- Remove from the mixer, wrap in plastic film and let it rest in the refrigerator for an hour.
- Cut parchment paper into squares, roughly 7” x 7” [18 x 18 cm]./steps_item] Once the dough is chilled, remove from the refrigerator, cut them into pieces and form each piece into a ball.
- Press each ball between two pieces of parchment paper using a cutting board (or extend using a rolling pin) to make a flat disc that is 5” [13 cm] in diameter.
- Peel off the top layer of paper and reuse for the other balls, leaving the discs on the bottom paper. The dough is softer and more delicate than the traditional empanadas dough, so you have to handle it with a bit more care. Set the discs aside.
- Split the remaining egg into yolk and white. Set the white aside. Whisk the yolk and heavy cream together. Set it aside too.
- To fill the empanadas, scoop a tablespoon of the filling into the centre of each of the dough discs.
- Fold each over, using help from the parchment paper, to form a half-moon. Press the edges to seal. You have to be delicate handling these and may need to gently fix any cracks in the dough. Don’t worry though, the empanadas will need to have some holes to let the steam out.
- Once they are all assembled, pierce once in the centre with a toothpick. Paint each with the egg/cream wash.
- Arrange on a baking tray on top of a wire rack lined with parchment paper.
- In a preheated oven, bake at 300 ºF [150 ºC] for 20 minutes, or until they turn a light golden brown. You really need to keep an eye on them as almond flour is a bit unpredictable and may go from golden to burnt in little time.
For the dipping sauce, blend everything with an immersion blender to your preferred consistency. Serve.