Presley’s Pantry veggie gourmet empanadas/pockets!

People say I cry at the drop of a hat.  It’s true, I’m sensitive when it comes to a good love story or a sad story with a happy ending.  I call them passion tears.  I love when a person or family gets one up on life.  It makes my day, and it also makes me cry.

Recently I was shopping at Superior to pick up all the best latino products I usually stock my kitchen with when I noticed the “Maseca te paga la cuenta” (Maseca pays the bill) banners draped all over the market.  I stopped and just stood there staring at the banners, then I felt a little ball growing in my throat and my eyes welled up. I got so happy teary eyed knowing that someone could win right then and there. It was a reflective moment for me as I gathered the details of this great promotion that Maseca is offering to their customers.  You see from June 27th until August 8th 2011 at participating supermarkets in Southern California, North Carolina, Dallas and Houston Maseca representatives are randomly showing up on a daily basis and identifying a winner. This is how it works, if they see a Maseca product in your basket when you are in the check-out line they will pick up the bill for all the groceries in your shopping cart!  Can you imagine how happy that would make a family?  It makes me all mushy teary just thinking about it.

Then I started to think what would I do if I won the prize and Maseca was paying for all the food in my cart? I’d have a 40 person dinner party for my family and closest friends. I would make fancy gourmet vegetarian empanadas/pockets and WOW them with the homemade Maseca masa. Showing them all how easy it is to make something from scratch, and how the difference in taste is monumental.  I’d also have a box of tissue near by to wipe my tears of joy.

All photos taken by: Nicole Presley

Ingredients for veggie empanadas/pockets:

2 – cups Maseca Amarillo

1/2 -cup flour

1 1/4 – teaspoon baking powder

1 – teaspoon salt

1 1/2 – cups warm water plus 2 tablespoons

1 1/2 – cups sauteed onion

1 – pound grated colby jack cheese or jack cheese

1 1/2 – cups boiled Idaho potato (diced and fully cooked)

1 – cup grilled corn

1 – cup Lindsay whole black olives

1/2 – cup red chile sauce

1 – cup green chile salsa

2 – cups vegetable oil

Let’s make the Maseca masa/dough.  In a big mixing bowl add Maseca Amarillo, flour, baking powder, and salt.  Mix with a fork to combine.  Then add warm water and mix with hands till soft and dough comes together, but is not sticky.

Divide masa/dough into 13 equal parts, then roll each part into a 2 inch ball. Keep masa/dough covered with plastic wrap and a damp towel to prevent masa/dough from drying out while you are making the empanadas/pockets.

Take a piece of plastic and cover working area of the tortilla press (I have an insane homemade wooden one from Mexico, but they sell them made of plastic and they work just as good). Then place a ball of masa/dough in the center and press down to make a circle.

Let’s fill our empanada/pocket…. Start with a tablespoon of sauteed onions, and place on one side of masa/dough. Then take a nice hefty pinch of cheese (a little under 1/4 cup) and place on top of onions.

Then add 5 or 6 cubes of boiled Idaho potato, a teaspoon of grilled corn, and break the Lindsay black olive in half and place on top. Drizzle with 1/2 teaspoon red sauce.

Then gently fold half of masa over to close empanada/pocket. Press down with fingers all along the edge to seal both ends together.

Once edges are sealed. Fold 1/4 inch of edge in to make a perfect fold.

Place empanada on a cookie sheet lined with foil and topped with plactic wrap while you assemble the rest and are ready to fry. Remember to keep them covered as you do not want them to dry out.

Add vegetable oil to a large frying pan and place over a medium high heat. Allow to get hot.  Add up to 3 empanadas/pockets at a time and fry on each side for 3 to 5 minutes or until golden brown.

Remove from oil and serve warm with a teaspoon of green chile salsa poured over the top….. Mmmmm! Que delicioso! Give it some sour cream for an extra knock out punch! That’s it your done!

This is a sponsored post as part of the Maseca te paga la cuenta promotion.  All opinions and recipes are my own.


How to make the sauteed onions: In a large frying pan over a medium flame add 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, and allow oil to get hot. Then add 1 sliced onion, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Fry on each side for a 5 minutes or until onion is limp.


How to make the red chile sauce:

1 – large onion peeled

3 – garlic cloves peeled

1.5 – ounces new mexico dried chile

1.5 – ounces california dried chile

1 – large dried passilla chile

3 – tablespoons salt

4 – cups water

In a big pot add water, 2 tablespoons of salt, all chiles, onion, and garlic cloves. Bring to a boil.  Boil for 20 minutes. Water will turn dark brown.


Remove chiles and garlic cloves from water. Discard onion. Do not discard water, you will be using it in the next step. Remove stems from chiles, then add to a blender along with 1 1/2 cups of water from the pot, garlic cloves, and a tablespoon of salt.  Blend for 2 minutes.

Once blended get a bowl and take the blended chile and put through a strainer. It will be thick. Add a little bit of water from pot to chile strainer and scrape with a spoon. Use up to 1/2 cup of water for the entire  scraping process. It’s time consuming but your red sauce will be clean and not too thick.


How to make green chile salsa:

5 – tomatillos

5 – guero chiles (yellow chiles)

5 – serrano chiles

5 – jalapeno chiles

2 – garlic cloves (browned/fried)

1/2 – onion (browned/fried)

1/2 – cup water (from water chiles boiled in)

1 – teaspoon of vinegar

1 – teaspoons vegetable bouillon (I use Knorr)

1 – teaspoon black pepper

Fill a pot halfway with water and place over a medium high flame.  Bring water to a boil.  Add all chiles.  Boil for 15 minutes. Then add tomatillos and continue boiling for 20 minutes. Remove from flame. Once chiles are boiled remove from flame but DO NOT discard water… you will need it to blend chile.

In a frying pan with a little oil add onion/ garlic cloves and fry till browned.  Set to the side.

Let’s get blending.  In a blender add chiles (discard stem), browned garlic cloves, onion, water from the pot the chiles boiled in, vinegar, vegetable bouillon,  black pepper and tomatillos.  Blend until chunky smooth about 1/2 minute.  Pour into a bowl.  Set to the side.




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