This recipe for Cheese Empanadas, a favorite Chilean food comes courtesy of LadyBrettAshley.
15 pre-made frozen empanada shells, available at most ‘ethnic’ food stores
1 lb. block or shredded muenster cheese
bowl of tepid water
1. Thaw empanada shells according to package directions
2. If using a block of cheese, cut into 1-inch cubes
3. Place 2 or 3 cubes of cheese on bottom half of empanada shell (or as many as will fit)
4. Using index finger, wet rim of shell all around (this will help the empanada stay closed during frying)
5. Fold shell in half over cheese to form a semicircle, and press edges closed with fingers
6. Using a fork, press tines down flat along edges to seal the shell. Set aside.
7. Once empanadas are arranged, heat oil on high in a deep fryer or large frying pan (there must be enough depth/oil to cover the empanadas)
8. Gently slide empanadas into hot oil, about 3 at a time (there must be enough space for each empanada without overlapping)
9. When color changes to golden brown, take empanadas out and place in a bowl or colander lined with paper towels. If needed, turn empanadas over in oil as the color becomes golden (in case empanada is not entirely submerged in oil from the beginning)
10. If the oil is too hot, the empanadas will quickly turn dark brown without cooking through. This will happen after about 20-30 minutes of frying. Simply turn oil down to medium, and keep readjusting heat if oil becomes too cold (it takes longer than a few minutes for the empanadas to fry)