Savory Lunch Empanadas (sweet potato and black beans, or ground beef)
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  1. 1 batch of Never-Get-Your-Hands-Dirty Pizza Dough (you'll have some left over), or about 2 1/2 lbs of purchased pizza dough or corn masa dough
  2. 2 medium sweet potatoes (if not using meat)
  3. 1 15-oz can black beans (if not using meat)
  4. 2lb ground beef (if using meat)
  5. 1-2 cloves garlic
  6. 1/2 cup frozen corn
  7. 1/2 cup raisins (optional, but soooo yummy!)
  8. 2 cups Ridiculously-Easy-And-Totally-Worth-It Tomato Sauce (or purchased pizza sauce)
  9. 1/2 tsp cumin
  10. 1/2 tsp salt
  11. Black pepper to taste
  1. If using sweet potatoes, scrub, prick a few times with a fork, and throw in the microwave for 8-10 minutes till tender (or bake, or boil, or Instant Pot - whatever cooks it how you like it!)
  2. Scoop out sweet potato flesh into medium bowl, and add beans. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Brown beef, if using, breaking up with spatula as it cooks. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Mince garlic, and add to browned beef or sweet potato.
  5. Add sauce, corn (no need to thaw), raisins, cumin, to beef and mix well over medium heat. If using sweet potatoes, add all ingredients except sauce, mix well, then add sauce gradually - you want your filling to be soft and easily scoopable, but you don't want it to be runny, so you may use less sauce.
  6. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  7. Take dough out of fridge, and tear off about a fist-sized lump, placing it on a well-floured board or parchment paper. Roll it around quickly on the board to coat the whole thing with a little flour.
  8. Stretch out the dough - remember to reflour the board as you go. *** Please note that the biggest difference in how this dough feels, as opposed to cookie dough, is that it is STRETCHY. When you cut out the circles, they will recoil and not look like circles. This is totally fine, don't worry! You'll stretch them over your dough press later and they'll be perfect!
  9. Roll or hand-stretch to 1/8 to 1/4 inch - make sure you don't have any super thin parts you can actually see through, or you'll lose your filling.
  10. If using a dough press, use the back of your press to cut out circles, and lay them on a parchment-lined jelly roll pan. If not using a press, cut circles with a cookie cutter to desired size. The circles will likely shrink a bit as you cut them, since their edges are no longer under tension from the surrounding dough. Don't worry, even if they look small, you know you have enough stretchy dough in them.
  11. If using a press: Working with the ridged side of your dough press, sprinkle some flour onto the press with your fingers, and place a dough circle over the press, stretching its edges slightly to cover its face entirely. Whether or not you're using a press, if you have a "floury" side and a "sticky" side to your circle, have the sticky side facing up. It'll make your seal better when you get there.
  12. Take 1 1/2 to 2 Tb of filling (for a 4-inch circle) and place in the very center of your circle. Press the edges of the circle together firmly, and if you have "extra" dough at the lip of the edge, squeeze it together with your fingers instead of cutting it off.
  13. Lay finished hand pie on parchment-lined jelly roll pan, and repeat with all circles (you'll have enough filling for about 30 4-inch circles).
  14. Brush with egg wash or milk/cream wash if desired, and bake for 16-20 minutes in 375 degree oven.
  15. Cool slightly, then Flash Freeze by putting pies on parchment paper-lined jelly roll pan in freezer for two hours, or up to overnight.
  16. Pack pies in heavy-duty freezer gallon bags and remove air, or vacuum-seal.
Emi Ponce de Souza

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