Classic flavors from patatas bravas (or papas bravas), a popular tapas in Spain, inside of a flaky empanada dough.
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I have been to Spain a few times and LOVE their obsession with tapas. Tapas are small savory dishes which I love because you can order a lot and make a meal out of them! Typically patatas bravas are potatoes that have been fried, coated in a few seasonings, and then served with a spicy yet creamy sauce. No matter where I go in Spain, I am ALWAYS getting these when out for tapas, and most every restaurant will have them. Think of them like a Spanish french fry in popularity. These Patatas Bravas Empanadas use all of those same great flavors in a new way!
These Patatas Bravas Empanadas are a labor of love but they are worth it! You can easily make these in stages and in advance to make it easier. First, start by making your empanada dough (you can also use pie crust). This is the empanada dough I use. I also like to add a tablespoon of paprika to this dough recipe for some added flavor and color. Then make sure you have your filling ready to go. Toss the potatoes with the seasoning and oil, then roast until tender in the oven. Roll out the dough until it is approximately 1/8 inch thick. Then use a glass or another round object to cut out the circles. I just press a drinking glass and twist it in the dough. You can also trace around something with a knife.
You can use the ratio that you prefer, but you do not want to over stuff or else the filling could pop out. A three inch circle can fit approximately 1-1 1/2 Tablespoons total of filling. Fold the dough in half. Using your fingers, press all the way around the edges to seal. For the patterned edge, use a fork to press down along the edges. Cut some slits in the top of each empanada which will allow any steam to release and prevent the dough from getting soggy inside. You can use any design you like! Repeat this process with all of the discs.
- Preheat oven to 375F.
- Dice the potatoes into small chunks, approximately 1/4 inch wide. Smaller pieces will cook faster and also prevent them from poking through the dough.
- Toss the potatoes with the vegetable oil, paprika, chili powder, salt, and black pepper to coat. Spread out on a baking sheet and bake until they are cooked through and starting to crisp up, approximately 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside. Leave the oven on.
- Make your empanada dough. Use the dough recipe in the notes section below or pie crust.
- Roll out the empanada dough until it is approximately 1/8 inch thick.
- Use a glass or another round object to cut out circles of the dough approximately 3 inches wide. Repeat this process with the scraps until you have used all (or most) of the dough. You should get approximately 24 circles at 3 inches wide.
- Place approximately 1 Tablespoon of filling in the middle of a dough circle. Fold the dough in half and press along the edges to seal. Press a fork along the edge to create the textured effect. Repeat with the rest of the dough and filling.
- Use a knife to cut slits in the top of each empanada. This will allow steam to release and prevent the dough from getting soggy inside. Use any design you would like.
- Place the empanadas on a silicone mat lined baking sheet. They will not expand too much, so they can be placed close together. Brush the beaten egg on top of each empanada to give it a golden and shiny finish.
- Bake the empanadas for approximately 20-22 minutes until the dough is firm to the touch.
- While the empanadas are baking, make the sauce by combining all of the sauce ingredients. Refrigerate until ready to serve with the warm empanadas.