Corn and Lobster Empanadas

Mitchell Kaldrovich

Sea Glass at the Inn by the Sea, Cape Elizabeth, ME

These irresistible empanadas are stuffed with a rich filling of cheese, lobster, and corn.



  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening or lard
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon champagne vinegar


  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons diced Spanish onions
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons white wine
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup corn kernels (canned or frozen)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon sweet smoked paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground coriander
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup roughly chopped cooked lobster meat (from about one 1-pound lobster, boiled for 7 minutes and shocked in ice water)
  • 3/4 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives
  • 2 egg yolks mixed with 2 tablespoons water


To make the empanada dough, combine the water, shortening, and salt in a small sauce pot; bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and let rest for 5 minutes. Place the flour in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add the water mixture and the vinegar; mix on medium speed until combined. Slowly increase the speed and mix for about 5 minutes, until the dough forms a ball and pulls away cleanly from the sides of the bowl. (You may need to add an additional tablespoon of water.) Remove the dough from the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 10 minutes.

Cut the dough into quarters. Using a pasta-roller attachment or rolling pin, roll out a piece of dough to an 1/8-inch-thick sheet. Using a 4 1/2-inch round cutter, cut out 2 circles from the sheet. Lay the dough circles on a parchment-lined cookie tray and cover with another layer of parchment. Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

To make the filling, melt the butter in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the flour and mix to combine. Add the wine and milk. Lower the heat and stir constantly until the mixture thickens, about 2 minutes. Add the corn, cumin, paprika, and coriander and season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat and add the lobster meat, cheddar cheese, and chives. Set aside to cool.

To make the empanadas, preheat the oven to 425ºF. Place the dough circles on a lightly floured surface. Place a heaping tablespoon of corn–lobster stuffing in the middle of a circle; brush the edges of the dough with the egg yolk wash. Fold the circle over itself, press the edges with your fingers or a fork to seal, and place on a baking sheet. Repeat until all of the empanadas are filled. Bake until golden brown and puffy, about 15 to 20 minutes. Serve warm.


8 empanadas