Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Long time no post! Empanadas

I am back! Yep, I took most the summer off. Not from cooking, but from blogging. I cooked up a storm, it was just impossible to post and play with company. So what has happened since then? Well I am still vegetarian. I have not had any meat at all and it has opened an entire world of cooking possiblities to me. I do always make a meat for my family, I just learn to tweak a vegetarian option for me and my daughter, who also stopped eating meat. I don't miss it at all. I still eat fish, so it clarifies me as a pescetarian. So you will see both meat and non meat recipes on here now. Tonight... empanadas!


2 cups flour
1/2 cup lard
2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
About 1/2 cup iced water

In a large bowl, combine the flour with the lard, butter, and salt. Mix lightly with your fingertips until the dough forms grapesized pieces. You should still be able to see streaks of fat. Stir in the water. Lightly knead, handling the dough as little as possible, until the dough forms a ball. Add a little more water if needed. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour, then remove and let it return to room temperature, about 1 hour, before rolling. The dough can be frozen for as long as a week. Pinch off about half the dough. Roll out, on a floured surface, to a thickness of 1/8inch. Cut out 3inch circles. Then, gather the scraps, add to the rest of the dough, and roll out another batch of circles. Repeat, with the rest of the scraps. This should be enough dough for about 24 empanadas.

I am making 12 chicken empanadas and 12 vegetarian empanadas.
1 egg
1 tbsp water
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 small red pepper, diced (about 2/3 cup)
1/3 cup minced onion
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper
1 can (about 15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup cottage cheese, farmer's cheese, or ricotta cheese
1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese (about 6 ounces)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1 cup sour cream
1 cup guacamole ( make mine from scratch, avacado, lime, salt, cilantro)

Heat the oven to 375°F. Beat the egg and water in a small bowl with a fork or whisk.
over medium-high heat stir in the olive oil, diced red pepper, salt, onions and garlic and cook until tender.

Stir in the cumin, chili powder and crushed red pepper, black beans, . Reduce the heat to low. Add shredded cheddar cheese.. Remove the skillet from the heat. Stir in the cheese, 1 cup beans and the cilantro. Let the mixture cool to room temperature.

Spoon filling mixture on half of each pastry circle. Brush the edges of the pastry with water.
Fold the pastry over the filling and crimp with a fork to seal. Place the filled pastries onto baking sheets. Brush the pastries with egg .

FOR CHICKEN VERSION... I started with chicken, olive oil and salt and added half of the above vegetarian mixture. roll and cook the same.

Bake for 20 minutes or until the pastries are golden brown. Remove the pastries from the baking sheets and let cool on wire racks for 10 minutes. Serve the pastries with the sour cream, guacamole and beans.

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