Monday, August 18, 2008

Bacon, Leek, and Gruyere Empanadas

A while ago I saw a menu for a restaurant with a bacon, leek and Gruyere quiche. I am not a huge fan of quiches, but the mix of bacon, leek and Gruyere intrigued me. In the last month I have made two dessert empanadas but never a savory one. I realized I could use this combination in an empanada. They came out so flavorful and the crust was nice and flaky. I had a bunch of the bacon, leek and Gruyere mixture left so I used some with eggs and froze the rest to make more empanadas later. I cooked the leeks in a little garlic oil, but if you don't have garlic oil just use regular olive oil or the bacon fat and add a little garlic to it.

Bacon Leek and Gruyere Empanadas

For the filling:
1 12 ounce package center cut bacon, chopped
2 cups thinly sliced leeks
8 ounces Gruyere cheese, shredded

For the dough (From Epicurious):
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 stick cold, unsalted butter cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 large egg
1/4 cup ice water
1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar

To make the dough:
Sift flour with salt into a large bowl and blend in butter with your fingertips or a dough blender until the mixture resembles coarse meal with some pea-size butter lumps.

Beat together egg, water, and vinegar in a small bowl with a fork. Add to the flour mixture, stirring with a fork until just incorporated. Mixture will look shaggy.

Turn out mixture onto a lightly floured surface and gather together. Then knead gently with the heel of your hand just enough to bring the dough together. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least one hour.

To make the filling:
In a large skillet cook bacon over medium until crisp. Drain the fat and set aside to cool.

Use the bacon fat or a little bit of garlic oil to slightly soften the leeks over medium heat. Do not brown the leeks. Set aside to cool.

Once the bacon and leeks are cooled, mix with the Gruyere.

To assemble the empanadas:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees

Roll out the dough to approximately 1/4 inch thickness. Using a glass or ramekin, cut the dough into circles.

Spoon a little bit of the bacon mixture into each empanada round. Fold over and use a fork to seal the edges.

Beat one egg with a splash of water or milk. Brush the egg wash over each empanada. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until golden brown. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.

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Thistlemoon said...

Those empanadas sound delicious! I love gruyere with bacon and leeks - it is hard to go wrong with that combo no matter where you have it - stuffed in something, over pasta, in a quiche, etc!

Anonymous said...

God, I miss cheese. These look yummy!! Can't wait to see you on Saturday...

vanillasugarblog said...

Those look so good. OMG, I am so wanting one right now.

eatingclubvancouver_js said...

The flakiness of that empanada is just calling to me. And the cheesiness. And the leekiness. And of course the bacon-ness! Well, that whole empanada is just calling to me! ;)

test it comm said...

Bacon, cheese and leeks baked into a light and crispy pastry sounds great!

Anonymous said...

That sounds like a wonderful combination! Actually, I like most anything that comes inside a pastry :-) I haven't cooked much with leeks before, but I've been wanting to try them.

Paula said...

Oh Esi, this sound delicious and they look marvelous! Gruyere is such a great cheese, and bacon makes everything wonderful! Lovely, lovely recipe!

Anonymous said...

This sounds great - what a good idea for picnic's & lunch box treats!

Brilynn said...

I have to love this, it has bacon in it afterall! Looks great!

Unknown said...

oh my!!! Wish you had made them a few months ago when I was trying to figure out delicious ways to use the cave-aged gruyere I splurged on :)

just found your site but am loving the recipes!!