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Creamed Corn Empanadas with Orange-Honey Drizzle

July 19, 2011 by Joan Nova in Appetizers, South American | 21 Comments

Remember my post about The Tasting of the Rosés party? Where everyone brought a variety of rosé wine and a food pairing? Well, my contribution was Pigmentum Malbec 2010 and this delicious creamed corn empanada with orange-honey drizzle. Big hit! I highly recommend both.

Creamed corn empanadas, popular in South America, are traditionally called empanadas de humitas. I thought it was an interesting party food that would pair well with the wine I had selected. Having never made it before, I looked at a few recipes (they’re all basically the same) and chose to follow Rebecca’s instructions on From Argentina with Love .

Of course, I switched it up a little bit. Hey, you didn’t think I actually “followed” a recipe, did you?

And, with all due modesty, I think the changes I made are what took it ‘over the top’. :)

Empanada shells can be found in the frozen (ethnic) section of most supermarkets or in Latin markets. Because this was for a cocktail party, I used “copetines from Argentina” which are very small discs (2 bites) and it yielded about 40. You can probably make about 12-15 with the regular size.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Creamed Corn Empanadas with Orange-Honey Drizzle
  • 10 ears of fresh corn shucked
  • ½ leek sliced thinly + minced
  • ½ onion sliced thinly + minced
  • 2 tsp crumbled bacon
  • 2 roasted piquillo peppers chopped small
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella (fresh), loosely packed
  • fresh cilantro to taste
  • salt + pepper to taste
  • olive oil
  • 1 egg separated (yolk beaten with a few drops water)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • one teaspoon salt, or more to taste
  • ½+ cup milk (I used fat-free half + half)
  • empanada shells (or your own pastry dough)
  • honey
  • orange zest
How To
  1. Shuck corn and grate on box cutter.*
  2. Run knife along naked cob to get some of the corn milk.
  3. Saute onion and leek in olive oil.
  4. Add bacon.
  5. Add corn and saute for a few minutes.
  6. Add milk and reduce heat.
  7. Cook till mixture thickens (pudding like).
  8. Add red peppers and cilantro.
  9. Adjust seasonings, add extra pepper.
  10. Bring to room temperature and then refrigerate for easier filling of shells.
  11. Separate eggs (white for sealing, yellow for glazing)
  12. Give empanada a light roll out and begin filling process.
  13. Fill each shell with 1 teaspoon of corn filling.
  14. Brush edges with egg white and fold over.
  15. Crimp with fork tines.
  16. Brush exterior with egg yolk.
  17. Layer on cookie sheet covered with parchment paper and chill for about ½ hour.
  18. Bake at 400 degrees till golden (about 15 minutes).
  19. Warm honey with orange zest in microwave and drizzle over empanadas.
*For some reason, every recipe I looked at said it was better to remove kernels with box cutter instead of shaving them down with a knife as most of us do.

A few additional FOODalogue changes from original recipe:

  1. Instead of making my own, I bought prepared empanada shells (discs).
  2.  Added leek with the onion.
  3. A little bacon – it just goes so well with corn.
  4. Cilantro.
  5. And, best of all, the drizzle of warm orange zested-honey. It just brought it all together.

I made the empanadas a day in advance and put them in a zip lock bag in the refrigerator. I also put some honey with fresh orange zest in a small container. When I got to the party, I popped the empanadas in the oven and the honey in the microwave. Plate and drizzle…and wait for the compliments.


NOTE: Some recipes found on FOODalogue are offered without ingredient quantities. They're meant as a guide to food pairings and techniques to be experimented with … in your own kitchen … to your own spice and taste levels … to your preferred portion sizes … and to however many people you’re cooking for. A perfect meal has multiple levels of flavor and textures, bright colors and tastes, and healthy(ish) choices. It's all about enjoyment. Enjoy the process, the presentation and the just rewards...eating!


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  1. Robin Sue says:

    “Plate and drizzle…and wait for the compliments.” And that is why we cook, for the joy of it all and the compliments! On your cue I have purchased the empanada disks to make my life easier, they work out great!

  2. Oh, these do look scrumptious. I haven’t had empanadas since we lived in Texas, which is far too long ago. Love your drizzle.

  3. Norma says:

    I like the idea of the honey and I will try that soon. They look so shiny and appetizing. Your not taking my title away from me…I am still the “empanada queen” at least in my town I am…:O}

  4. You know, Joan, I think out of every food blog out there, I’d love to come to your house to eat (or at least a party where you’re bringing something!). Your food is so creative, beautiful, and just plain yummy looking.

  5. Foodiewife says:

    I’ve never seen empenada shells. How cool! Lovely tapas..they are perfectly golden and I love the flavors!

  6. Katie says:

    What a unique spin on empanadas! I love the special touches you added, especially the bacon. ;)

    Just a couple of comments, if I may. Empanadas de humita are often made with whole kernel corn and a white sauce/bechamel instead of grated corn. Both versions are tasty – just different. Also, in the version you made, grating the corn helps release more of the corn’s starch and creates a different texture than just cutting it off the cob.

  7. WHAT????? DID you say we can pruchase frozen empanada skins from latino stores? Where have you been my whole life? Yours with the creamed corn is hot hot hot! :) I love that you added mozz and piquillo peppers.

    chow! Devaki @ weavethousandflavors

  8. Marie says:

    Holy Cow you could sell these! I’d be in line for these, sounds extremely yummy!

  9. The filling for these empanadas sounds so good, perfectly seasonal too and wonderful with the orange-honey drizzle.

  10. Sippitysup says:

    perfect pairing. GREG

  11. redkathy says:

    I’m with Marie, you really could sell these! Yummy

  12. I love empanadas and would adore yours; I usually buy them from an Argentinian market already stuffed; will enquire about the shells that would be a great time saver, especially if they are of good quality. So what is the verdict on shelling the corn?

    • Joan says:

      I guess don’t do it enough because frankly I didn’t notice any difference between using a box grater or a sharp knife.

  13. Bren says:

    i’d tear all 40 up by myself. i love empanadas and anything maiz… que rico!

  14. Laurie says:

    This sounds lovely Joan! I don’t usually eat corn.. but remembrances of my mom’s homemade creamed corn just made me so intrigued with this recipe.

  15. I can never resist a good empanada! I usually opt for the meat version but I have to say these look mighty good Joan. Love that you can buy empanada shells too!

  16. giz says:

    I’ve never heard of empanada skins but love the idea and your empanadas look incredible.

  17. Casey says:

    This sounds out of this world, good. Love the combo using honey. It has to be delicious.

  18. Obviously as Argentinian, I have eaten humitas empanadas all my life, but never with an orange drizzle !! Definitely will try !!!

  19. Ben says:

    I love empanadas! My mom makes the best in the world, of course, hehehe. Great filling and drizzle :)

  20. Mariko says:

    That sounds soooo lovely! Corn and bacon is such a perfect pair. I’ve never made empanadas but I’ll have to try. Yours have the perfect browned crust.

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