I made these empenadas last week for the first time. They were a huge hit with everyone, so I thought that when I made them again today, they’d be the star of the table. However. I added a side of Mexican Sweet Potato Mash tonight, and it blew me away. I almost ate half the pot before it hit the table. This is such a tasty meal with complex layered flavours that your family won’t even notice that there’s not meat on their plates.
These empenadas are really quite easy to make. I start out by making the dough, and while it’s chilling in the fridge, I put together the filling. I used this recipe here for the dough, posted on About.com.
For the filling, I was inspired by this recipe on VegitarianTimes.com, and adapted it based on our tastes & likes. This is what we ended up with.
Banana Black Bean Empenadas:
- 1 Tbsp coconut oil
- 2 medium onions, diced
- 1 15oz can / 2 cups of cooked black beans (I buy my black beans dried in a bag, and about once a month cook up a huge lot in the slow cooker, then freeze in 2 cup batches.)
- 1 Tbsp garlic
- 1 Tbsp lime juice
- 2 bananas, peeled & chopped
- 1tsp ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/4 tsp ground coriander
- 2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro or 1 Tbsp cilantro paste
- 1 tsp red pepper sauce (like Tabasco)
- 1 batch of Empenada dough, chilled
- Heat oil in large skillet over medium high heat. Add onions, turn heat down to low. Caramelize onions, adding extra water as necessary so onions don’t burn (will take 10-15 minutes).
- Add beans, garlic, and lime juice, turn heat up to medium, and cook for 3-5 minutes. Stir in bananas & spices, and cook for 2 minutes or until bananas begin to break down and spices are fragrant.
- Remove from heat, stir in red pepper sauce.
- Roll dough out on lightly floured surface, until dough is about 1/4″ thick. Place a bowl with a 6-8″ diametre rim-down on dough, and trace around with a dull knife. Repeat until you can’t fit any more circles on rolled out dough. Remove the odds & ends of dough, roll up in a ball, and roll out dough again and repeat process above.
- Put 2-4 Tbsp of filling in the centre of each circle. Brush edges of circle with water, fold dough over on top of filling so that you end up with a half-circle, and crimp edges with a fork.
For future reference: if you don’t have 45-60 minutes to roast a sweet potato in the oven for your sweet potato casserole or mash, cook it in the microwave! I poked mine several times with a fork, and then cooked 2 in the microwave for 11 minutes on high. I let them rest for a few minutes, then sliced them open and scooped out the flesh. So easy, so fast! And, you actually almost all of the flesh off of the peel, unlike using a potato peeler to peel it first!
Scoop the cooked sweet potato out of the skins with a spoon and into a mixing bowl with butter & cilantro sauce. Blend thoroughly with an electric mixer (I love my KitchenAid for this sort of thing – we haven’t mashed potatoes by hand in two years!), and transfer to small greased baking dish. Bake for 20 minutes, or until heated through. Head over to Allrecipes.com for full list of ingredients for this Mexican Sweet Potato Mash. Note: I used 1 small can of Green Chilies instead of the jalepeno, because, as always, that’s what we had on hand. I also added a touch of lime juice.
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