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Empanaditas (pork Turnovers)

8 teaspoons chilled margarine
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons ice water
2 ounces cooked ground pork -- crumbled finely chopped cooked ham)
2 ounces Monterey Jack or cheddar -- cheese, shredded
1 teaspoon prepared spicy brown mustard
1 dash crushed red pepper
1 egg separated
1 tablespoon skim milk


Paprika Garnish: red bell pepper strips and cilantro leaves In small bowl, with pastry blender or 2 knives, cut margarine into flour until mixture resembles corn meal, sprinkle with ice water and, using fork, mix to form soft dough. Roll dough between 2 sheets of wax paper to form rectangle about 1/4 inch thick, remove paper and use 2-inch diameter plain or fluted cookie cutter to cut dough into rounds. Roll scraps of dough and continue cutting until all dough has been used (should yield 24 rounds). Combine pork (or ham), cheese, mustard, and red pepper in small bowl and set aside. Preheat oven to 375.


Beat egg white lightly and brush an equal amount onto each pastry round. Spoon an equal amount of the meat mixture (about 1/2 rounded teaspoon) onto center of each round, fold pastry over, turnover-fashion, to enclose filling. Press edges of dough together to seal. Transfer turnovers to nonstick cookie sheet. Add milk to egg yolk and beat lightly, brush an equal amount of mixture over each turnover and sprinkle each with a dash of paprika. Bake until turnovers are golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer to warmed serving tray, garnish with red pepper strips and cilantro. Chile sauce or salsa can be served as a dipping sauce.


Makes 8 servings of 3 turnovers each.


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