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Holiday Sweet Potato and Turkey Empanadas from Grace-Marie’s Kitchen at Bristol Farms

Posted By Lynne On January 19, 2011 @ 11:41 pm In Appetizers, Breakfast and Brunch, Grace-Marie's Kitchen, Holidays, Mangos, Sandwiches | 12 Comments

The Holiday Harvest Afternoon Tea at Grace-Marie’s Kitchen was a cornucopia of six delicious dishes that could be prepared for your own holiday gatherings. It started off with Spirited Fruit and Cheese Hors d’Oeuvres, Roasted Pear and Blue Cheese Salad, and Savory Green Onion Scones. Then when our taste buds were all tingly with anticipation, we were treated to the wonderful Holiday Sweet Potato Empanadas with Mango Chutney Dipping Sauce, which were the highlight of our tea, with their beautiful color and savory sweet flavor. And we ended with Toffee Pumpkin Bars that were drizzled with caramel sauce and Chocolate Pecan Praline Tassies. Just reading this, isn’t it making your mouth water?

To make the Empanadas, Grace-Marie started off by dicing the sweet potato and sautéing it with the turkey, cumin and cinnamon. When the sweet potato was fork tender and the mixture cooled completely, she stirred in Jack cheese, mango chutney and cilantro to complete the filling.

Next, the prepared pie dough was unrolled, circles were cut out and about a tablespoon of filling placed on each round. Then each circle of dough was folded over and the edges pressed down to seal them.

The edges were crimped with a fork, brushed with beaten egg and dusted with a smokey Spanish Paprika. I could hardly wait to taste these babies, with all the wonderful ingredients in the filling. They were baked for about 15 minutes and they smelled so good.

Here they are with their beautiful appetizing color, all ready to be dipped in the Mango Chutney and Sour Cream Sauce. Grace-Marie has outdone herself again. Can you imagine these empanadas on your brunch table. Oh yes!

This class was really fun, with everyone very chatty and laughing. And of course the food was marvelous. These are the Ladies and Gentleman who came to tea. Thank you so much and I hope to see you all again.

For additional recipes from Grace-Marie’s Kitchen, look under Categories in the right-hand column.

Grace-Marie Johnston

For more information about the new schedule of cooking classes, visit Grace-Marie online at Bristol Farms or email her at gmj@bristolfarms.com.

Holiday Empanadas from Grace-Marie’s Kitchen

Serves 8

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup red or yellow onions, finely diced
1 pound ground turkey meat (or leftover roasted turkey)
1 pound yams (sweet potatoes), peeled and diced small
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
To season – kosher or sea salt & ground black pepper

8 ounces Monterey Jack Cheese (or any favorite), shredded
1 cup mango chutney – chopped if mango pieces are large (or cranberry relish)
1/3 cup cilantro, roughly chopped

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

2. Warm the oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and turkey. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until the turkey is no longer pink.

3. Add the sweet potatoes, cumin and cinnamon. Continue to cook until the sweet potatoes are fork tender (about 7 minutes). Cool completely in the skillet then transfer to a bowl.

4. Once cool, stir in the cheese, chutney and cilantro.

2 packages prepared pie crusts (cut into 3”-4” rounds) (or puff pastry or refrigerator rolls rolled flat)
2 large eggs, fork beaten with a bit of tap water
Spanish Smokey Paprika to garnish

1. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. Arrange the crust rounds onto a work surface. Brush the egg wash along the edges. Place a tablespoon or more of the filling into the center of each.

3. Fold over one side of the crust to meet the opposite side (creating a “half moon” or turnover). Gently press down to seal the edges then crimp with a fork to create a decorative edge.

4. Arrange 2 inches apart on baking sheets. Lightly brush with remaining egg wash and dust with the paprika.

5. Bake until risen and light golden brown on both sides, about 15 minutes. Cool slightly on the baking sheet before removing.


1. Make a dipping sauce by mixing mango chutney and chopped cilantro, to taste, in about 1 ½  cups of sour cream.

2. Transfer empanadas to a serving platter. Serve warm or room temperature with the dipping sauce. Garnish with leftover cilantro springs.

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