Wednesday, June 09, 2004


I served empanadas and a kick-ass salad from the produce sub on Sunday evening. The salad was romaine and green-leaf lettuces, spinach, sunflower sprouts, and split red grapes, with lime wedges as dressing (there was traditional salad dressing available, too).

I fed seven adults and four kids, two of the kids ate something else (quesadillas), the other two split one empanada. I doubled the recipe and shouldn't have--more empanadas left over than one person needs (so I pawned some off on friends!).

Here's the empanada recipe--I only need half the filling before I run out of dough, but I'm probably doing something terribly wrong, so here's the as-is recipe. Note that I think that cilantro is a tool of the devil and I never use it. YMMV.

Black Bean Empanadas, from Ginny Callan's Beyond the Moon Cookbook

2 c. black beans

2 1/2 c. unbleached white flour
1 1/2 c. whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp. salt
1/2 c. (1 stick) butter, melted
2/3 c. (single-serving container) plain yogurt
6 tbsp. cold water

Reserved mashed, cooked black beans (or a rinsed can of them, which I don't mash...)
2 tbsp. canola oil
3/4 c. chopped onion
4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
2 tsp. dried basil
1 c. chopped green pepper
1 minced jalapeno pepper
1 1/2 c. chopped zucchini
2 tbsp. minced fresh cilantro
1 c. fresh or frozen corn kernels
1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 c. grated cheddar
1 1/2 c. grated jalapeno Jack

1 1/2 c. canola oil for frying (or more)

Sour cream, salsa, and chopped cilantro on the side.

Rinse and sort the beans, soak them in 6 c. water for 6 to 8 hours or overnight. Drain the beans and put them in a pot with 6 c. fresh water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer, partially covered, until tender, about 90 minutes. Drain the beans and return them to the pot off the heat. Mash lightly and set aside.

While the beans are cooking, prepare the dough. Combine the flours, salt, butter, yogurt, and water in a mixing bowl or food processor. Stir or pulse until well mixed. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Cover and refrigerate.

For the filling, heat 2 tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute the onion, garlic, basil, peppers, and zucchini until tender, about 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, and stir in the cilantro, corn, cumin, salt, and cheeses. Add vegis to the beans and stir well. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, knead it lightly, and divide it into twelve balls. Roll each ball into an 8-inch circle (mine never get there, but whatever--f) and place a heaping 1/2 c. of filling in its center. spread the filling, leaving a 1-inch border around the edge. Fold the dough over the filling to form a half circle, and use the tines of a fork to seal it. Repeat until all 12 empanadas are filled.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Heat the 1 1/2 c. oil in a deep saucepan (or stockpot--f) over medium-high heat. The oil's hot enough when a bit of dough tossed in immediately sizzles and rises to the surface.

Fry the empanadas one at a time until golden brown (the recipe claims that this takes 3 minutes on each side, but it takes mine only 15 seconds or so, total--f). Drain on paper towels. Place cooked empanadas on a baking sheet in the oven to keep warm until ready to serve.

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