Clam and Chorizo Empanadas

Clam and Chorizo Empanadas are an example of a great portable food that has made its way across the border. Portability packed with flavor and robust chopped ocean clams.


Heat olive oil in 10-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the chorizo and sauté until slightly crisp, about 2 minutes. Add the shallots and green bell pepper and cook for 1 minute. Add the garlic and tomatoes and cook for another 2 minutes. Stir in the clam juice, sherry vinegar, and chopped ocean clams and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until almost all the liquid has reduced and the mixture has thickened, about 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Remove pan from heat, and cool mixture.

Sift flour into a food processor, add butter, and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal with some (roughly pea-size) butter lumps. Transfer mixture to a clean working surface. Beat together egg, clam juice, and vinegar in a small bowl with fork. Add to flour mixture and with clean hands gently mix until just incorporated. Lightly flour the surface and knead gently with heel of your hand once or twice, just enough to bring dough together. Form dough into a flat rectangle and chill, wrapped in plastic wrap, at least 1 hour. *Note: If mixture is too dry, add enough clam juice to bring together. Forming and Baking: Preheat oven to 375°F. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to 1/4 inch thickness, and with the cookie cutter, cut 8 6-inch rounds. Place about 2 tablespoons of the filling on each half of the dough rounds, moisten the edges with egg wash, fold over to form a half moon, and crimp decoratively with your fingers or seal with a fork. Lightly brush empanadas with egg wash and arrange on baking sheet. Make a small incision on top of the empanadas to release  some steam and bake until lightly golden. Transfer empanadas to a rack to cool at least 5 minutes and serve warm.

In a food processor, puree sour cream, green onion, and lemon juice until pale green. Scrape into a bowl and season with salt. Serve chilled.

Chef’s Notes:
Any extra dough can be wrapped in plastic and frozen to be used at another time.

Empanadas can be made ahead of time, frozen, and baked to order.

Sauce can be made 1 day ahead, covered and chilled.

Other sauces such as a tomatillo, tomato salsa, and pico de gallo can also be used to accompany this dish.

This dish can be served as an appetizer or entree. If serving as an entree, the empanadas can be served with a light and refreshing salad or the traditional beans   and rice.

The empanadas can be garnished with chopped cilantro or green onions.

Depending on region, jalapenos can be added to filling for additional heat.

Recipe by:  Diego Mendez, a Student at Johnson & Wales University. This recipe was the winner of the Sea Watch 2009 Creative Clam Challenge at the International Boston Seafood Show.



  • 3 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • ¾ Cup Chorizo, diced, preferably Mexican style chorizo
  • ½ Cup Shallots, thinly sliced
  • ½ Cup Green Bell Pepper, diced
  • ½ Cup Roma Tomatoes, peeled, seeded, diced
  • 6 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 3 Tbsp. Sherry Vinegar
  • 1 ½ Cups Sea Watch Chopped Ocean Clams, strain & reserve juice
  • 1 Cup Reserved Clam Juice
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste


  • 2 ¼ Cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 Stick Cold Unsalted Butter, cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 1/3 Cup Cold Reserved Clam Juice
  • 1 Tbsp. Distilled White Vinegar

Cream Sauce:

  • 1 ½ Cups Sour Cream
  • 1 Cup Chopped Green Onion
  • 3 Tbsp. Lemon Juice
  • Salt, to taste

Product Codes

Sea Watch: 0Q31 – 6/51 oz.
Sea Watch: 03Q31 – 12/51 oz.
Sea Watch: 03G31 – 12/51 oz.
Capt Fred: 03Q47 – 12/51 oz.