These are the tastiest empanadas, and pastrami is such a trendy ingredient right now. If making ahead, they will keep three days, refrigerated without baking.
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Ready time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 24 to 26
250 grams (8 ounces) finely chopped pastrami
1 tablespoon oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
4 cups finely chopped napa cabbage
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 package prerolled frozen puff pastry, defrosted
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup grated cheddar
Freshly ground pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 F (200 C). Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add pastrami and sauté for 2 minutes, or until fat has rendered and meat is golden. Spoon meat onto a plate. Add 1 tablespoon oil to same pan and return to heat. Add onion, garlic and cabbage, and sauté for 3 minutes or until cabbage is softened. Add sherry vinegar and cook for another minute. Remove from heat and stir in Dijon.
Roll out pastry into a 12-inch (30-cm) square. Cut rounds using a 3-inch (8-cm) cutter. Brush with beaten egg. Spoon 1 tablespoon filling into the centre of each round, sprinkle with cheddar and fold over, forming a half-moon. Crimp the edges to seal and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Prick once with a fork. Brush with beaten egg and sprinkle with pepper.
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until puffed up and golden.
Suggested Wine Pairings
One big smorgasbord of appetizers could be suitably accompanied by a festive, dry sparkling wine. By all means keep it affordable, as in Italian Prosecco or Spanish cava. For an especially festive twist, turn that wine into a champagne cocktail by first dropping a sugar cube into the flute, soaking it with two or three dashes of cocktail bitters such as Angostura and adding a half-ounce of brandy. Then top up with sparkling wine. If serving just the empanadas, try French Beaujolais or Canadian gamay, both red wines. - Beppi Crosariol