Humita Corn Empanadas

Recipe provided by Chef Crusco Catering in Austin, Texas

Ingredients (20-25 Empanadas)

  • 2 tbsps. EVOO
  • 2 tbsps. Unsalted Butter
  • 2 small Yellow Onions – fine dice
  • Sea Salt/Ground Pepper – to taste
  • 10 Ears of Corn – grated with a Box grater
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 tsp. Sugar
  • 1 tsp. Smoked Pimenton
  • 1 cup Mozzarella cheese – grated with a Box grater
  • 1/2 cup Chives – fine dice
  • 2 Packs (12/each) Empanada Tapas (Saltena brand @ Phoenicia Bakery)
  • 3 Cups Vegetable or Canola Oil – for frying


  1. Shuck the corn, removing all hulls and silk, and rinse the ears under cold water. Then, using the large holes of a box grater, grate the kernels into a large bowl. Cut down the edge of the ear of corn all around to release additional starchy juices into the bowl.
  2. Heat the oil and butter in a large pot on medium high heat. Add the onion and saute until translucent. Season with Salt/pepper. Add in the grated corn and stir to incorporate.
  3. Bring the corn mixture to a light boil and add in the cornstarch, sugar and pimenton. Reduce the heat and continue to cook at a simmer until the mixture thickens, about 15-20 minutes.
  4. Once thick, add the Mozzarella and stir to incorporate. Remove the mixture from heat and let cool completely, first on the stovetop and then in the refrigerator. Transfer to a bowl, add chives and set aside.
  5. Heat up Vegetable Oil in a Large Pot for frying. Lay out a couple of tapas on a clean countertop. Put out a small glass of water for sealing the empanadas and the bowl with the filling.
  6. Using a spoon, place a large tbsp. of the humitas filling in the center of the empanada shell. Moisten the edge on the top half of the shell with a little water on your finger. Fold the bottom half of the dough up until the edges meet and seal with your fingers by pressing down. The empanada should have a half-moon shape.
  7. Use the palms of your hands to pack the filling firmly in the center. Then fold the edges with the Repulgue technique. Using your fingertip, fold one corner of the empanada over, pressing down firmly. Go to the edge again and repeat, pressing firmly each time. Move around the edge of the empanada to get a spiral pattern. You can also use a fork-seal, instead.
  8. Once the oil is hot, place 4 empanadas in the oil and cook until golden brown in color. Remove from the oil and place on a paper towel lined sheet pan. Continue frying the rest of the empanadas.
  9. Let them cool slightly but make sure to serve them warm. Enjoy!