These Chilean style fried empanadas are filled with melted cheese, and as empanadas go they are quick and easy to make.
2 cups flour
2 tablespoons vegetable shortening or lard, softened
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon sugar
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup water
16 ounces whole milk mozzarella cheese
Oil for frying
1. Whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and sugar in a large bowl.
2. Gently mix the vegetable shortening into the flour.
3. Place the milk and water in a saucepan and heat until almost boiling. Stir the hot liquid into the four mixture. Add more water (1 tablespoon at a time) if mixture seems to dry and crumbly, or add more flour if mixture is too wet and sticky.
4. Knead dough gently until well mixed and homogenous. Divide dough into 16 portions, and roll each piece into a ball. Let dough rest for 5 minutes.
5. Grate the cheese.
6. Roll each ball of dough into a 6-7 inch diameter circle. Place one ounce of cheese in the center of each dough circle.
7. Fold dough in half over the cheese to form a semicircle. Press down firmly along edges to seal. Roll edge inward over itself and press down again to seal. Crimp edge decoratively with fork, pressing to seal.
8. Heat oil in a deep sided skillet. Fry empanadas in batches, turning at least once, until golden brown. Drain empanadas on paper towels.