“Meat and cheese and peppers, so lovely, the cups called empanada goes walking, and when they pass each one they passes goes ‘yum.’” That's a remix of an old jazz classic by DJ Home Chef here, and, as usual, when we remix something the results are awesome for the taste buds. Like here, where we have a take on empanada that uses puff pastry, seasoned beef, and cheese to create something magical. Like the girl walking to the sea, this meal will set your taste buds sambaing.
We recommend pairing these empanada cups with Francis Coppola Diamond Collection Claret. The balance of bright, red fruit and soft spices in the wine bring out both the seasoning of the beef and buttery crust of the cups.
Core tomato and cut into ¼" dice.
Stem jalapeño, halve, seed, remove ribs, and mince. Retain seeds for more spice. Be sure to wash hands, utensils, and cutting board after working with jalapeño.
Brown the Ground Beef
Line a plate with a paper towel.
Place a medium non-stick pan over medium heat. Add ground beef to hot pan. Stir occasionally, breaking up with a spoon, until browned, 3-5 minutes.
Remove from burner. Transfer ground beef to towel-lined plate. Ground beef will finish cooking in a later step.
Reserve pan; no need to wipe clean.
Par-Bake Puff Pastry and Make Filling
Place each puff pastry square in muffin tin. Slightly lift and press dough into cups. Make four ping-pong ball-sized foil balls and place a foil boil in each cup. Bake until lightly brown, 8-10 minutes.
While pastry par-bakes, return pan used to brown beef to medium heat. Add tomato, garlic, and jalapeño (reserve 1 tsp. for garnish) to hot pan. Stir occasionally until soft, 2-3 minutes.
Add ground beef to pan and cook until no pink remains, 1-2 minutes.
Remove from burner.
Fill and Bake the Cups
Stir ¼ the cheese (reserve remaining for topping) into pan with filling and season with seasoning rub, ¼ tsp. salt, and a pinch of pepper.
Carefully remove foil ball from puff pastry cups. Fill each cup with filling and top with remaining cheese. You may have some extra filling to serve on the side.
Bake until cheese melts, 8-10 minutes.
Rest 2-3 minutes, then carefully remove cups from tin.
Finish the Dish
Plate dish as pictured on front of card, garnishing with remaining jalapeño (to taste). Bon appétit!