Manchego chorizo empanadas with roasted Asian pear and tomatillo salsa 

Ingredients (for filling)

1/4 cup ancho pepper, roasted and diced

1/4 cup of red onion, diced and caramelized

1/4 cup green onion, diced

1 tbsp. chopped roasted garlic

1 tsp. crushed red pepper

1 cup Manchego cheese

1/2 cup prepared chorizo

2 tbsp. olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

Ingredients (for dough

1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 tsp. of salt

1/2 tsp. of cumin

1/2 pinch of white pepper

1/4 cup of unsalted butter

1/4 cup lard

1/4 cup cold water

Ingredients (for pear & tomatillo salsa)

1 Asian pear diced (-inch dice), roasted in oven at 350

6 medium tomatillos (whole), roasted and finely chopped

1 small serrano chili (de-seeded), finely chopped

2 tbsp. diced white onion

1 tbsp. cilantro (finely chopped)

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. cumin

1/2 tsp. fresh garlic (minced)

Directions (for filling)

Pre-heat a large saut pan. Add enough olive oil to cover the bottom of the pan and saut the anchos, red onion, green onion and garlic until the red onions are translucent. This usually takes eight minutes. Add the crushed red pepper and saut for another minute. Place the cheese in a mixing bowl and add the ingredients from the saut pan. Mix thoroughly and let cool.

Directions (for dough)

Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl. Cut the butter and lard into tiny pieces, and work the butter and lard in with your fingers. Add the water a little bit at a time and knead into the dough. Roll out dough until it's -inch thick, and cut out 4-inch circles. Place 2 tbsp. of cooled filling mixture in the center of each circle of dough. Fold an edge of the dough over to the other side and seal edge with a sprinkle of water, using the prongs of the fork to crimp.

Ingredients and directions (for cooking)

2-5 cups of canola

You can refrigerate empanadas until ready to cook and serve. To cook, pre-heat enough canola oil to float the empanadas in a saut pan and fry at 325. Cook empanadas on both sides until golden brown. Enjoy.


I ate empanadas every holiday when I was young, while all my aunts gathered and gossiped and created these tender delicacies. Empanadas are everywhere, and we capitalize on different techniques from other chefs, embellishing on them to create our own signature theme and dishes. This is my thought of the perfect empanada.

— Chef John Davila


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