Adapted from Still Life with Menu

2 cups unbleached white flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup water (more, if needed)
Suggested filling: 1 medium banana, sliced plus about 1/4 pound jack cheese, in thin slices
  1. Combine flour and salt in a medium-sized bowl. Make a well in the center.
  2. Pour in the water and stir until reasonably well combined. You should have a soft, supple dough. Add a tiny bit of additional water, if it is too stiff.
  3. Turn out on a floured surface and knead until smooth (5 minutes).
  4. Divide the dough into 8 equal parts, and roll each one into a small ball. Set the balls aside while you prepare the filling ingredients.
  5. Roll each ball of dough into a circle approximately 5 inches in diameter. Place a couple of cheese slices near the center and cut a piece of banana into several small strips on top of the cheese. Lightly brush the edges of the dough with water, and fold the dough over the filling as you would with a turnover. Crimp the edges securely with a fork. Set aside, and repeat until you have 8 empanandas.
  6. TO SAUTÉ: For every 4 emapnadas melt 1 tablespoon butter in a heavy skillet and sauté over medium heat for about 5 minutes on each side. Serve hot. TO BAKE: Preheat oven to 375°F. Arrange the empanandas on a buttered baking tray, making absolutely sure they are securely closed. (If the cheese creeps out during baking, it will burn.) Brush the tops lighlty with melted butter and bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until lightly golden. Serve hot.
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