Monday, May 5, 2014

Spicing up Cinco de Mayo Queso Fresco Empanadas & Shrimp with Charred Tomatillo Sauce

                  Serves: 10              Serving size : 2 empanadas

The origin of empanadas, a popular street food in Latin American, can be traced to Spain and Portugal where they were often filled with seafood. This empanada is filled with shrimp and creamy queso fresco offset by a tangy Mexican tomatillo salsa.

8                 ounces tomatillos, papery skin removed and rinsed well
3                 serrano chilies, seeded
3                cloves garlic
2                teaspoons olive oil
4                ounces (1/2 package) cream cheese
1                cup shredded queso fresco, divided
3                green onions, sliced
3                tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
3                tablespoons finely chopped and seeded fresno chilies, divided
1/2             teaspoon salt
1/2             pound medium shrimp, peeled, deveined and finely chopped
1/2             cup finely chopped Marcona almonds, divided
1                teaspoon McCormick Cumin , Grown Cumin , Ground Mccormick Gourmet Collection Chili Pepper , Ancho
1/2             teaspoon McCormick Gourmet Collection Chile Pepper , Ancho
2               packages (14.1 ounces each) refrigerated pie crusts, (4 crusts)
 1 .          For the Charred Tomatillo Sauce, toss tomatillos, serrano chilies and garlic with oil. Place on foil-lined baking sheet. Broil 4 to 6 minutes or until tomatillos and chilies begin to char in spots. Cool slightly.
2.          Place tomatillos, chilies and garlic in blender container. Add cream cheese and 1/2 cup of the queso fresco; cover.
3 .        Blend on medium speed until pureed. Add green onions, cilantro, 1 tablespoon of the fresno chilies and salt. Blend until smooth.
4.        Preheat oven to 400°F. For the Empanada Filling, mix 2/3 cup of the Charred Tomatillo Sauce with remaining 1/2 cup queso fresco in large bowl Add shrimp, 1/4 cup of the Marcona almonds, 1 tablespoon of the remaining fresno chilies, cumin and ancho chile pepper; mix until well blended.
5.       To assemble Empanadas, unroll pie crusts on lightly floured surface. Using 4-inch round cutter, cut each into 5 rounds for a total of 20 rounds. Spoon 1 heaping tablespoon of filling onto half of each round. Moisten edge of each with water. Fold in half; press edge with a fork to seal.
6.        Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. Pierce top of each with fork to vent. Bake 20 minutes or until light golden brown. Mix remaining 1/4 cup Marcona almonds with remaining 1 tablespoon fresno chilies. Sprinkle over empanadas. Serve with Charred Tomatillo Sauce.


  1. Just looking makes me so hungry.. :) the filling sounds so good!

    1. Hi Medeja , Getting ready for Cinco de Mayo , try them you will like them thanks for stopping by :)

  2. Dear Nee, The filling sounds wonderful and these darlings look like perfection! Blessings dear. Catherine

    1. Hi Catherine , you will love the filling . The ones that break / tear up , the kids are waiting in the wings ;-D thanks for stopping by :)

  3. Perfect for Cinco de Mayo! Thanks for sharing! Also, thank you for your visits to my blog. xo Nellie

    1. Hi Nellie , thank you ! I enjoy coming to your blg , you do such nteresting things . Thanks for stopping by :)

  4. Dear Nee, I know that Cinco de Mayo is almost over but hope that you had a good day! This recipe looks really very yummy. I have only had empanadas twice, and I enjoyed them very much. I love the filling with the shrimp and all of your delicious ingredients.I have to try to make these someday. I have never tried, but I think they may be like an Italian Calzone only filled with a Mexican flare! Love your photo, they are perfect in color. Thanks for sharing this one...Blessings Dottie :)

    1. Hello dear Dottie , Cinco de Mayo is like Mardi Gras here last 3 weeks with parades , food fairs and lots of celebrations . You can say it's like Mardi Gras without the masks .
      Empanadas is like a Calzone with a Mexican flair . They are so easy to make and the crust is made from pie crusts , easy peasy is the way to go . You can also use pie crusts for homemade meat pies , love serving my family tasty food without all the fuss and they think I spent all day in the kitchen ;-D , have a blessed week and thanks for stopping by :)

  5. Hi Nee,
    We love eating empanadas and this looks delicious with the Tomatillo Sauce.

    1. Hi Joyce , don't empanadas have a great taste with or without the sauce . Thanks for stopping by :)

  6. Replies
    1. Hi Ernesta , they are delicious , celebrating Cinco de Mayo join us ... thanks for stoppin by :)


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