Dilemma 1: purchased yellow harina de maize that doesn’t work so well for making arepas
Dilemma 2: tempted by the sight and aroma of deep fried empanadas sold by sidewalk vendors
Possible Solution: homemade empanadas baked in the convection oven
2 cups yellow harina de maize
1 t baking powder
1/2 c milk
pieces of cooked meat (I cut up sliced sausage: not exactly low-fat, I know)
red bell pepper, chopped
white onion, chopped
arroz con pollo seasoning (garlic powder, salt, tumeric, onion powder, ground cumin, etc.)
Prepare the dough as you would for pie crust.
Combine all filling ingredients and mix well to distribute flavors equally.
Roll out the dough into ovals big enough to fold over 2 tablespoons of the filling. The empanadas should not be larger than the palm of your hand. The most common shape is similar to a crescent. Pinch the edges of the dough to secure the filling.
Bake the empanadas for about 20 minutes in an oven that has been preheated to 400*F. If you desire a more crisp edge and can afford the extra fat, you can brush the crust with butter or vegetable oil before baking.
Enjoy hot or cold with aji.