Sunday, March 20, 2011

Gluten-Free Empanadas

This is not a low calorie meal. But it is just as good, if not better than my Empanadas I have been making for years. But guess what? They are Gluten-Free Empanadas! Each day I seek to make Taylor's favorite recipes from before the diagnosis. Oh the days when I didn't realize I was killing her on accident. The girl lived on bread, noodles... all things deadly. Sometimes I can't help but laugh. Ignorance is bliss until you have the knowledge. So I am making things right. The fruits of my labor are paying off.
Happy daughter = Happy Mommy.
Thanks again to the wonderful better batter gluten free products. I have another order on the way right now. They converted me. My once 20 tiny plastic bags of numerous flours and gums is now replaced with 6 cute nice boxes. Look for their product in a whole foods near you, or ask for it in your grocery. You can also buy direct from them.


Any way, On to the Empanadas. I doubled the recipe to Serve 8 because it is never just the 4 of us. Plus everyone here loves leftovers. These are scrumptious! Enjoy!

Filling:
4 tablespoons olive oil
1.5 sweet onion, minced
1 red pepper, minced
1 tomatoe chopped
6 garlic cloves, chopped
2 lbs chicken
1 can rinsed black beans
1 minced Jalepeno
6 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 cup cottage cheese, or farmer's cheese, or cream cheese,or ricotta cheese

1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese (about 6 ounces)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the empanada dough:

4  cups Better Batter all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons salt
3 teaspoon sugar
8 tablespoons crisco
8 tablespoons butter (keep cold)
2 egg yolk
1 cup ice water
2 tablespoon rice wine vinegar


To finish:
oil for frying

When working with gluten free dough, it is important to fix the filling FIRST prior to preparing dough. It takes some getting used to, because all the regular flour recipes say to chill for an hour. Not this with gluten-free flours. So start with the filling first.

For the filling:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Add the olive oil to a skillet over low heat. Add the onions, stirring occasionally, for as long as possible, until the mixture is fragrant and translucent. Add the garlic and red pepper and cook for 2 minuted then add the black beans and tomato stirring until combined.
Pour veggies in a large bowl while cooking chicken in the pan of juices.
Add 2 more TB olive oil to pan. Add the chicken, season, brown on both sides Seasoning with salt and pepper, do not cook all the way through. Just brown lightly on each side..

Put chicken in baking pan and bake for 10 - 12 minutes.
Shred the chicken using 2 forks. Mix shredded chicken in bowl with cooked veggies/beans.

 Add the cilantro, . Set aside letting cool while preparing empanada dough.
For the empanada dough:

Combine the flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a Kitchenaid equipped with the paddle attachment. Cut the lard and butter into chunks and scatter them over the flour mixture. Mix on low to medium speed until the butter and lard are fully incorporated and the mixture looks like coarse meal.

Add the egg yolk, water, and rice wine vinegar and keep mixing until the dough forms. immediately roll out the dough to 1/8 inch thickness(you can do by hand or use a pasta attachment on the kitchenaid)
 and cut out as many as possible 3 1/2 inch circles.
This takes time, but be patient, it is worth it!


To finish:

Fill the dough rounds with about 1 tablespoon of the filling.
 Brush some water around the edges and seal it to make half-moons.

Bake at 375′F until golden 20- 25 minutes. If you want an extra treat, you can fry them. But that is really really fattening. So I am sticking with baking. They are so good! Enjoy!