Monday, March 23, 2009
Empanadas, stuffed savory or sweet pastries, are among my favorite foods from Latin America. They are often stuffed with meat, and often fried, but my version is stuffed with a deliciously spicy bean filling and then baked, which makes the empanadas far healthier.
I had a good deal of the bean filling left over after making the empanadas, but I just used it as a dip for tortilla chips, and it was perfect.
Serve your empanadas with a hot sauce or just with some vegan sour cream which tastes exactly like the real thing, and is cruelty-free too! I mixed up this delicious hot pepper sauce I had leftover from this past week with a dollop of vegan sour cream, and it was heaven.
This is going to be a short, prattle-free post because it's Monday morning and things are already jumping around here. Here's looking forward to a speedy week and a leisurely weekend!
These empanadas go to It's A Vegan World: Mexican. There's still time until March 31 to send in your recipes, so get cooking, guys!
For the pastry:
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 tbsp transfat-free shortening
1/2 tsp salt
Icy cold water to make the dough
Place all the ingredients in a food processor and, with the motor running, drizzle in enough water to make a smooth dough. Do not overmoisten. Make a ball of the dough, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least an hour.
For the filling:
1 small red onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium potatoes, finely diced
1 small carrot, peeled and finely diced
1/2 cup pinto beans (use black beans if you prefer), soaked for a few hours, then cooked until tender enough to be mashed
1/4 cup raisins
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tbsp canola or olive oil
Heat the oil in a saucepan. Add the onions. When they start to brown, add the garlic and stir another minute.
Add the potatoes, carrots, cayenne and oregano. Stir and cook until the carrots and potatoes start to soften.
Add the beans with about 1 cup of the water. Stir well and cook until the vegetables are tender enough to be mashed. Let most of the liquid evaporate and, with a potato masher, mash the filling until it has broken down but is not absolutely smooth. You want some chunks of potatoe and beans in there for texture.
Stir in the raisins.
Add salt to taste, and let any remaining water evaporate before turning off the heat.
To assemble the empanadas:
Roll out the dough and cut out four six-inch circles from it. You might need to reroll the scraps and roll out again to get four circles.
Slightly off-center in each circle, place 2 tbsp of the filling. Then fold one end over so you have a half-moon shape. Press together the ends and press down with a fork to get a tight seal and decorative edge.
Place the empanadas on a baking sheet. Brush the tops with a mixure of 1 tbsp olive oil + 1 tbsp soy milk, and bake in a 400-degree oven for about 25-30 minutes until lightly golden-brown.
Cool until warm on a rack and then serve.