The word empanada comes from the Spanish empanar which means to wrap or coat in bread. Sometimes, I wish I was wrapped in bread. It sounds very warm and comforting. I made these empandas for a couple of guys who really liked them, in fact one of them said I have a gift. The other gave me chocolate so it was a pretty good deal. The empandas were inspired both by a trip to Costa Rica where everything involves black beans and plantains and one of my favorite cookbooks “A World of Dumplings“. One of my many dreams is to open a food trailer and call it “Sumpling in my Dumpling” where it would be all dumplings all the time. I think this picture kind of looks like the empanada is an oyster at the bottom of a swimming pool. It didn’t taste like that at all, the crust was perfect and flakey and the filling was really tasty with pockets of sweet plantain. They went really good with the green salsa I had.
Black Bean & Plantain Empanadas
4 Cups All-Purpose Four
2 Cup Cornmeal (I used blue but any will work)
1 Cup vegetable shortening
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
Combine the dry ingredients. Add the shortening and rub it into the mixture with your fingers. Add water one tablespoon at a time until a dough forms. I used about 1/2 of a cup. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, chopped,
1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
14 oz of diced tomatoes (fresh or canned)
1 Tablespoon Maple Syrup
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups cooked black beans
1 plantain, chopped
Toast the seeds and then grind up. Add the onion, garlic, jalapeno and seeds to a hot oiled skillet and saute until onions are starting to brown (5 minutes). Add the tomatoes, syrup, 1/2 cup of water and salt and then blend the mixture. I used an immersion blender but you could also use a potato masher because a little texture is nice. Add the beans and the plantains and cook until plantains are soft, about five minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375. Slice the dough into 20 pieces and form into 20 balls. Roll each out into a flat disk. Spoon 1/2 tablespoon of filling into the center of the disk and fold in half, seal the edges and then press edges down with a fork to complete. Do this 19 more times. Oil a baking sheet and place the empandas on leaving a space in between. You can brush them with a little oil if you like. Bake for 45 minutes or until golden. Enjoy with salsa or guacamole.
It was raining in Austin over the weekend which means that the dogs were overcome with sleepiness. I wonder if there is a Spanish word for being wrapped in beagles?