Yield: 50 servings of Meat and California Raisin Turnovers, 5 oz. each.
2 cups shortening, well-chilled and cut into small pieces
5 quarts flour
4 tsp. salt
1 quart cold water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 lbs. lean ground beef
1 cup onion, minced
1 cup tomato purèe
1 cup California golden raisins, finely chopped
1 cup chopped green olives
2 cups small curd cottage cheese
8 large eggs, hard-boiled, peeled and chopped
4 tsp. salt (or to taste)
4 tsp. pepper (or to taste)
4 egg yolks
1/2 cup water
To prepare dough, work shortening into flour until it resembles coarse meal. Dissolve salt in water and work into flour a little at a time, unti dough comes together. let dough rest.
In large skillet, heat oil. Add meat and onion and fry until brown. Add tomato purèe and continue cooking 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in raisins, olives, cottage cheese and cooked egg. Season to taste with salt and pepper; reserve.
On floured board, roll out pastry dough and cut 4" diameter circles. Spoon 2 Tbsp. (11/2 oz.) filling in center of each circle. Brush edges with water. Fold in half. Press edges with fork to seal. Place empanadas on ungreased cookie sheet. Brush with egg yolk-water wash. Bake at 400°F until golden brown, approximately 15 to 20 minutes. Serve warm.
Photo Credit: California Raisin Marketing Board