I’m that guy in the office that brings his own lunch every day. Ever since I started working in Gatineau about 10 months ago, I’ve only gone out for lunch once or twice. Why? Well, part of it is economical. Bringing your own lunch is cheaper, and eating out is expensive. The other part is that we always have epic leftovers in the house, becuase I’m always cooking something new. I’m not going to lie, I sometimes get jealous when the guys come back to the office with Shawarma or sushi, but I’m often able to avoid the temptation.
A few weeks back a group of my coworkers went to a place up the road called Petit Peru – a South American gem in tucked away in the suburbs of Gatineau – and came back with a feast. Okay, I was jealous. And in all honesty, I thought about those empanadas for days. So what did I do? I learned to make my own – and I came up with this incredible combination of flavours that is to die for. Introducing my butternut squash, goat cheese and rosemary empanadas.
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
2/3 cup cold butter, cubed
4 tbsp greek yogurt
1 butternut squash
4 cloves garlic
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 tbsp fresh rosemary
1/3 cup goat cheese
Salt & pepper to taste
Black and white sesame seeds, for garnish
Butternut Squash, Goat Cheese & Rosemary Empanadas
Preheat over to 400F.
Cut your butter into small cubes. Combine the butter with the flour and salt in a large bowl. Mix using a pastry blender, but make sure that there are still some visible chunks of butter. This is what will help make your dough flakey.
In a small bowl, beat the egg and combine with the greek yogurt. Pour the egg and yogurt mixture into the flour mixture and mix with your hands, but refrain from kneading. Continue to mix for a few minutes until you are able to form a ball. If it is too dry, add some yogurt. If it is too wet, add some flour.
Cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes or up to an hour.
Cut your butternut squash in half lengthwise and place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet with the full cloves of garlic. Drizzle olive oil over both the garlic and the squash and roast for about 45 minutes, until soft.
Remove from oven and let cool. Once the squash is cool enough to touch, scoop out the seeds and pull away the skin, and discard. Transfer the flesh into a medium sized bowl and season with salt, pepper, paprika, cinnamon, nutmeg and rosemary. Using a fork, mash the roasted garlic cloves and add into the squash mixture. Thoroughly mix everything together until well combined and smooth.
Turn oven down to 350F.
Remove your dough from the fridge and roll out on a floured surface to about 1/8 inch thickness. Using a cookie cutter, press out circles in the dough. Mine were about 5 inches in diameter.
Place a scoop of the butternut squash mixture on each circle, followed by a tablespoon of goat cheese, leaving some space around the edges. Fold the circle over the filling, pressing the edges together with the prongs of a fork to seal the empanadas. Repeat with all of the empanadas and place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
Beat the egg in a bowl, and brush over the top of all of the empanadas. Sprinkle with black and white sesame seeds. Bake for 30 minutes until golden.
Serve, and enjoy. These are great as a dinner, leftovers, or quick snack.