Indulge In {Baked Beef Empanadas}

This past weekend, I had some much needed time off, and I spend it indulge in some of my favorite things. Cooking, cocktails, crafting, and relaxing were all on the agenda. I haven't gotten a chance to spend time in my kitchen lately creating delicious dishes. It's been your basic chicken and a vegetable around here for weeks, so when I got the opportunity last weekend, I took full advantage. Cooking up a menu of spicy beer queso, pulled beef tacos and my new absolute favorite, baked beef empanadas. I was new to the world of empanadas, but I think I'm now a permanent resident. I've had them at various restaurants around town but never dreamed it could be so simple to make my own. Not to mention, they are incredibly delicious. The best part though is that this is one of those recipes that you can alter to your own taste. Not a fan of spicy food? Leave out the red pepper flakes. Want to make it healthier? Substitute ground chicken or turkey for beef. However you decide to make them though, I can guarantee you can't go wrong!

:: Ingredients ::
1 lb. Ground Beef
1 Small Onion, diced
4 Cloves Garlic, minced
1/2 Tablespoon Cumin
1 1/2 Tablespoon Tomato Paste
1 Can Diced Tomatoes, with juice
2 Tablespoons Cilantro, chopped
1/2 Teaspoon Paprika
1 Tablespoon Red Pepper Flakes
Sea Salt to Taste
15 empanada dough disks (Freezer Section of your local grocery.)
1 Egg, scrambled but not cooked

:: Directions ::
1. Over medium-high heat, combine ground beef, onion and garlic in a pan. Sauté until meat is cooked through, about 5 minutes.
2. Add cumin, tomato paste, diced tomatoes, cilantro, paprika, red pepper flakes, and sea salt. Turn heat down to medium-low and let simmer another 15 minutes stirring occasionally. Your mixture should be moist but not watery.
3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Roll out empanada disks just slightly. Fill each with 1 spoonful of meat mixtures. Fold in half sealing with a fork.
5. Place empanadas on a greased baking sheet. Brush with egg wash and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve immediately.

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