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Pellizco’s Chorizo & Feta Empanadas

Prep time
30 mins
Cooking time
30 mins
Makes 30 empanadas
Pellizco’s Chorizo & Feta Empanadas

You can find Pellizco’s chef Danny serving Mexican street food at Steelyard Kelham, an exciting new retail quarter built from shipping containers and food trucks.

Here Danny shares one of his favourite recipes and tells us why he loves Mexican food.

Mexican cooking is an emerging passion of mine, since we started to focus on this style of cooking last year. The street food over there is in a different class, a world away from the fancy trucks we have over here. It’s very simple, cheap and the flavours are just incredible.

We use a few specialist ingredients and pieces of equipment, which you can find online on websites such as Cool Chile or Mexgrocer.

Let’s get right to it. Here’s my recipe for Chorizo & Feta Empanadas with tomatillo & coriander chimichurri and avocado crema.

You’ll need:

  • A blender or food processor of some sort. A stick blender will work fine.
  • A tortilla press, or you can go with a simple rolling pin and use a cup as a template to cut the dough into circles.
  • A dumpling press, or this can be replaced by folding and crimping by hand.

This is a really fresh tasting dish but nicely filling. The corn is very aromatic and it’s a beautiful dish to serve as a snack, starter or canapé at a dinner party to impress your guests.

You can use the leftovers of the tortilla mix to make tacos or fry them to make tortilla chips.


For the tortillas

  • 150g masa harina (Mexican corn flour, available online)
  • A pinch of salt
  • 100ml cold water

For the filling

  • 300g chorizo sausage meat (we use Moss Valley to ensure local and fresh produce)
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 1 garlic bulb, finely chopped
  • 200g block of feta cheese (similar cheese replacements work just as well)

For the chimichurri

  • 300g tomatillo (mostly available tinned online - green heritage tomatoes would also work)
  • 100g coriander
  • 2 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt

For the avocado crema

  • 1 avocado
  • 200ml sour cream
  • 1 lime
  1. Start with your filling. Finely dice the onion and garlic and on a medium heat you want to start sweating them off in a pan, to the point where the onion goes slightly translucent without colouring.

  2. Add the chorizo mince and stir occasionally, ensuring that all of the meat is cooked, and leave to cook on a medium to low heat for 20-30 minutes. The meat should be broken down and the onions and garlic mixed in evenly. Season to taste with salt and leave to cool. Crumble the feta cheese into the mix once it has cooled down slightly, then leave to fully chill.

  3. Start on your tortilla. This is surprisingly simple. Have the masa flour in a mixing bowl, add salt and the water, mixing until a dough has formed. For taco tortillas, you want the dough to be fairly solid but not too wet. However, to make empanadas you want more ‘give’, as they are going to be folded. You can add a bit more water if you feel they are too dry. Wrap the dough in cling film and leave to rest for 15 minutes. While this is resting, you can make the chimichurri and crema, but for ease of reading I will continue with the tortilla method.

  4. Once the dough has rested, you can start to roll it out into 2cm approx balls. You can use a tortilla press, which will press them down into the taco shape. Alternatively, you can use a rolling pin, trying to make them as circular as possible, or try using a cup as a template to shape them into a circle.

  5. Now that you have this and your mixture is cool, you can start to fill them with the chorizo filling. Place the filling in the centre of the pressed out tortilla. Be careful not to overfill. Make sure the filling is mostly central and lessens as it goes to the edge, as to give it the empanada shape when folded. This can be slightly tricky to begin with, but after a few attempts it will become a lot easier and quicker.

  6. Use the dumpling press, covered in cling film to ensure the dough does not stick to fold the tortilla over the filling and crimp itself into your empanada. Alternatively, you can fold over the tortilla with your hands to form the shape and crimp either using your thumb and forefinger or a fork to give it that crimped edge.

  7. To make the chimichurri, simply put all the ingredients into a blender, minus the oil and pulse. Gradually adding the olive oil until you have the desired consistency. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

  8. To make the avocado crema, peel and de-stone the avocado, place in a blender with the sour cream and squeeze in the lime juice. Pulse until the avocado has completely broken down and you have a slightly thicker, green sour cream. Season with salt.

  9. To cook the empanadas, oven bake at 190°C until piping hot, or preferably, shallow fry at the same temperature until you have a crisp outer shell.

  10. To serve, use the crema as a base so that the empanada doesn’t slide around the plate and drizzle the chimichurri over the top.

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