Empanada Picantita (Queso,Cilantro, Locoto)

Empanada Picantita  (Queso,Cilantro,Locoto)

IMG_2879So I love-love locoto and since I moved to Maine I have been trying to grow them here without success. Jalapeno does a good job as a replacement but it’s not as great as locoto. You can cut out the spicy pepper from the recipe and the empanada is still going to taste amazing!

Serves 20 empanadas



3 cups flour

1/2 cup shortening

1/4 tsp salt

1 egg yolk

1 cup warm milk (or warm water)


In a food processor mix the flour with the salt.

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Add the shortening and pulse until the flour looks like sand.

Add the egg yolk and slowly add the milk until the dough is soft. Put the dough on the table  and work with your hands until dough is soft but not wet. Divide the dough in 5 portion and wrap them in plastic. Set them aside for 1 hour.



1 cup diced red onion (small)

1 cup finely chopped cilantro

3 cups grated monterrey jack cheese ( if you can get queso fresco used that)

3 tbsp finely chopped jalapenos without seeds ( In Bolivia I would  use a locoto)

2 eggs



Mixed all the chopped ingredients together with the cheese. Cover and reserve


Just before preparing the empanadas add one egg and mixed.


Divide each ball of dough in 4 pieces for a total of 20 little balls.

Cover them with plastic and let it rest for 5 min.

Preheat the oven to 400 F

Work one empanada at a time.

Roll one ball at a time into a flat round oval.

Put the filling on one far side of the rolled dough, around 1 tbsp.

Close the empanada by folding the empty half over the filling.

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Place the empanadas on a baking sheet that is covered with parchment paper.


Whisk the other egg and, using a brush, paint each empanada with the whisked egg. Make sure you brush the entire empanada.

For decoration: Put on top of each empanada a cilantro leaf.

Bake them for 20 min or until well brown.

Serve warm by itself or if you want you can add the chimichurri sauce.

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