Saturday, September 5, 2009
Cooking with friends is both fun and time-saving. Not only do you get a few extra hands in the kitchen, but you get enjoyable company that gets to taste the delicious product when the cooking's all done! This is what I finally got to do two weeks before going back to school. I invited five of my friends over to have a cooking/ice cream/crafts party. I said I'd make them vegetable empanadas for lunch, and then we'd make chocolate gelato, and then we'd crochet or do whatever else they wanted to do at my house. I always wanted to make empanadas (it's not just because I went to that Tapas place earlier!), and finding a baked version peaked my interest.
I didn't have any of the Mexican spices on hand, so I sub'd in a good amount of tabasco sauce. I also used whole wheat flour because I was low on normal white flour. I also made some other tweaks, which you'll find in the recipe below. One of my friends who came over was really helpful with the preparation. She helped make and roll out the dough. When she asked for a rolling pin, I gave her a wine bottle wrapped in a cookie sheet because I didn't have one. She laughed at my paucity of baking tools, but I was laughing too. I'm used to it. ;P
Baked Whole Wheat Vegetable Empanadas (adapted from here) Serves 8
3 carrots, chopped (I recommend using less. The carrot flavor overtook the empanadas)
2 medium zucchini, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 - 2/3 can of whole sweet kernel corn (low sodium, preferred)
3 medium tomatoes, chopped
3 minced garlic cloves
4 Tbs (?) Tabasco sauce
2 tsp (?) sea salt
2 Tbs flour mixed with 1/4 cold water
1 cup (?) shredded Mexican cheese
3-1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1-1/2 Tbs baking powder
8 Tbs chilled butter
2 tsp soy sauce
1-1/4 cups ice cold water
1 egg mixed with 1 Tbs water
1. Boil carrots over medium heat until tender.
2. Mix tomatoes with Tabasco sauce and salt. Blend in the 2 Tbs flour-water mixture.
3. Saute onions, then add zuchinni and saute, then add garlic and saute, then add corn. Stir in tomato mixture, bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer 3 minutes; uncover and constantly stir until sauce is thickened.
4. Stir in carrots and cheese. You can add more salt, cheese, and/or Tabasco sauce to taste.
5. Remove from heat, cover, and refrigerate.
6. Preheat oven to 400°F. For empanada crust, combine 3-1/2 cups flour and baking soda. Cut in butter and mix into a coarse meal. Make a well in the center.
7. Mix soy sauce and water and pour into the well of flour. Stir with a fork until the dough rolls away from the sides of the bowl.
8. Knead dough on lightly floured surface for 30 seconds.
9. Divide dough into 8 pieces (we made 7). Roll into an 8" circle.
10. Spoon generous amount (3/4 cup) of filling into center. (You'll have extra leftover. You can set these out at the table if anyone wants extra.)
11. Moisten edges with egg-water mixture. Fold dough over into half-moon shape. Pinch and flute edges.
12. Transfer empanadas onto ungreased cookie sheets on baking pans.
13. Prick tops with fork multiple times and brush with egg-water mixture.
14. Bake 25-30 minutes until golden brown. Let cool before serving.