Pastelillos Volaos de Queso o de Guayaba
3 1/3 cups all purpose flour
These may be stuffed with shredded cheese, guava paste, or carne guisada (ground beef - seasoned)
Work each piece at a time with a rolling pin until it is the size of a small plate. Add about a tablespoon of stuffing in the middle, fold in half. Secure edges by pressing with a fork. Make sure to use plenty of oil to fry them in so that they expand.
Place on paper towels to absorb extra oil. Serve hot. Makes 10 pastelillos.
* You can also use ready-made dough sold at Cuban shops called "plantillas."
Goya Brand "discos" are frozen turnover dough circles ready to use in making pastelillos or empanadas de carne. They come in white or yellow dough. They are relatively inexpensive. Other brands are now popping up.The discos come in two sizes and in packages of 10 or so circles which you just have to stuff and seal. Handle these after being at room temperature for at least 20 minutes so they are soft. Or cut open one side of the package and put in the microwave on defrost for 10 - 20 seconds. You don't want to defrost them too long because they will stick together. Defrost them for 10 seconds at a time until you can separate the circles. Then let them sit at room temperature for 10 minutes or so and they are ready to handle.
Pastelillos or Empanadas, are as much fun to make as they are to eat. Flaky pastry, packed with your favorite filling, from meat to cheese to fruit paste. Enjoy as an appetizer, main dishes or even dessert.
Pastelillos de Carne
1/2 lb. ground beef
In a skillet, heat oil on medium.
Spoon about 1 tbsp. meat mixture into middle, fold over; moisten edges and seal with a fork.
Heat 2½ inches of oil in a deep saucepan on medium. Cook empanadas in batches, turning to brown on both sides. Drain on paper towels.
* Stuff with left over diced Thanksgiving turkey and a bit of stuffing, add cheese if desired.