Thursday, February 16, 2012

Spicy Empanadas with Cilantro Cream

I had never made empanadas before, but this recipe looked worth trying and so I gave it a whirl.  They turned out so delicious! I love the cilantro cream, sooo good!  I don't think my dough turned out looking as smooth and uniform as it was suppose too, but it still tasted great.

Spicy Empanadas with Cilantro Cream

Cilantro Cream

1/4 cup cilantro
1/4 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon Cholula
1 garlic clove

Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend.  Taste and adjust seasonings.  Cover and chill until ready to serve.

Empanada Dough

2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
4 oz. butter, cold
1 egg
1/3 cup ice water
1 tablespoon vinegar (cider or champagne)

In the bowl of a food processor combine the flour and salt.  Pulse to combine.  Cut the butter into 1/2 inch cubes and scatter over the flour.  Pulse about 5-7 times to just start to break up the butter.  In a small bowl mix the egg, water, vinegar and gently stream into the food processor while pulsing.  Stop when the dough is still a bit crumbly.  Dump out the dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap and use your hands to gently coax the dough into a round.  Cover the dough with the plastic wrap and chill for about an hour.

While the dough is chilling prepare the filling.

Empanada Filling

3 strips bacon, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
1/2 cup red onion, diced
1 red pepper, diced
2 teaspoons cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 medium potato, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 medium shallot, finely diced
1 large garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup green lentils
1 1/4 cup water
1/4 cup cilantro stems
1 Serrano (or jalapeno) finely diced

In a large sauté pan add the bacon and cook on medium heat until crisp.  Add the onions, stirring occasionally until just golden, about 5-7 minutes.  Stir in the cumin, coriander, chili powder, and cayenne.  Cook for one minute, until fragrant.

Add the red pepper and cook until just soft, about two minutes.  Add the cubed potato along with 1/4 cup water.  Scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.

Stir in the shallot and garlic, sauté until fragrant, just about a minute.  Add the green lentils and 1 cup of water.  Give the whole pot a nice stir then cover and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the lentils are tender.  Remove the lid and cook until the liquid has mostly evaporated.  Season with salt.  The reason why we salt at the end is to ensure the lentils with be tender and soft and not rubbery which can happen if you salt before they cook.

Finally add the cilantro stems and Serrano (you can use more of less depending on how spicy you like it).

Put that aside to cool slightly.

Once the mixture has cooled and the dough has rested, roll out the dough into 1/4 inch thickness.  Using a yogurt lid or a large cup (depending on what size you want you empanadas).  You can carefully roll out the scraps so that you get 6 large empanadas from one batch.

Place 1/4 cup of the filling on the left side of the dough round.  With a pastry brush (or your finger) put some water around the edge to act as the glue.  Fold the right side over the filling to match the edges with the other side.  Press and seal with your hands then use the tongs of a fork to ensure there is a tight seal.  Using a sharp knife cut a slit on the top so the steam has a place to escape.

Place all of the empanadas back on a parchment lined baking sheet and chill in the fridge.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and bake for 20-30 minutes or until deep golden.  For a nice golden gloss, brush with lightly beaten egg just before baking.

Cool slightly before serving.  Serve with cilantro cream.

Recipe from Not Without Salt

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