Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Creamy Corn Filled Empanadas




Corn filled empanadas or empanadas humitas, as they would say in Spanish are really delicious. These have a sweet but slightly spicy taste. You can adjust the amount of spicyness with how much cayenne you add.

Since it's not corn season, I used two small bags of frozen corn and it came out just as good. I was always afraid to work with frozen vegetables, feeling like they weren't fresh enough but after hearing time and time again that frozen veggies are just as good, I tried them out and must agree with what I've been told. Some people even say that frozen veggies are better than fresh because they are picked at their peek of ripeness.

I recommend making the dough the night before, since it does have to be chilled for at least 4 hours before they can be handled. I made the mistake of not reading the recipe carefully in advance and lunch was served really late because of the wait time.

I hope you guys have as much fun making them as I did : ]
Recipe from Viva Vegan
Makes about a dozen 6 inch Empanadas

Ingredients
Empanada Dough

* 3 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 1/2 tsp salt
* 1/4 tsp baking powder
* 6 Tb chilled nonhydrogenated vegan shortening
* 2 Tb chilled nonhydrogenated vegan margarine
* 3/4 cup cold water, or more as needed ( I used 1 cup )

Filling

* 3 Tb nonhydrogenated vegan margarine
* 3 Tb finely chopped chives, garlic scapes, or green onions
* 1 tsp dried basil
* 5 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels ( thawed and drained, if frozen; removed from 6 to 8 ears of corn if fresh )
* 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
* 1/4 cup cornstarch
* 2/3 cup soy creamer or other heavy cream substitute, or any nondairy milk
* 1 Tb lemon juice
1 tsp salt, or more to taste
* a big pinch of cayenne
* Freshly ground black pepper
* 1/3 cup soy creamer or nondairy milk for brushing

Directions
First prepare the dough...
1. In a food processor bowl, pulse together the flour, salt and baking powder for a few seconds. Slice the shortening and margarine into 1/2 inch chunks, add to the food processor and pulse until everything resembles fine, sandlike crumbs. If you prefer, you can also use a large fork or pastry cutter to blend the fats into the flour.

2. Pour the flour mixture into a large bowl and stream in the cold water while mixing the dough with your fingers. Continue adding just enough cold water that you can press the mixture together to form a soft and stretchy dough.

Briefly knead a few times, divide into two balls, flatten each into a round about an inch thick, and wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Handle the dough minimally to keep it from getting tough. Chill it overnight or for at least 4 hours.


3. Tear about ten pieces of waxed paper to about 7 inches square and keep them near your workspace. Lightly dust a large, stable rolling surface and a rolling pin with all-purpose flour. Roll one of the dough rounds about 3/8 inch thick, stretching and pulling the dough a little if necessary. To keep the dough from getting tough, use long rolling motions, occasionally lifting the dough by the edges and turning it a little to ensure an even thickness throughout.


4. Using a 6 inch diameter bowl pressed into the dough as a guide, take a small, sharp paring knife and run it across the edge of the bowl to cut out circles. Or, you a huge round cookie or biscuit cutter. Stack the circles of dough on top of one another, separating them with the waxed paper pieces to keep them from sticking. Chill the dough scraps, while you roll and cut the remaining unworked dough into rounds. Gather up all the remaining dough scraps, reroll them only one more time, and cut out as many circles as possible.


5. Chill the finished dough circles, the entire stack well wrapped in plastic wrap while preparing the filling, or store in the refrigerator for up to a week. Keep the empanada dough chilled until you're ready to fill and bake them.

Now prepare your filling...

6. In a heavy bottomed pot, melt the margarine over medium heat, add the chives and dried basil, and saute for 2 minutes.

7. In a blender jar, pulse the corn kernels, garlic, cornstarch, soy creamer, lemon juice, salt, cayenne and pepper into a thick batter.

8. Pour the corn mixture into the pot containing the chive mixture and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally with a silicone spatula or a wooden spoon, until the filling thickens to the consistency of thick porridge. Remove from the heat, taste, and adjust the seasonings, if desired, with salt, ground pepper, or even a little more lemon juice.


9. When ready to assemble the empanadas, preheat the oven to 400 F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

10. Take a dough round, gentle stretch it slightly outward by its edges, and brush lightly with soy creamer.

11. Scoop a generous 1/3 cup of corn filling into the center of the round and spread it over half of the round; leave about 1/2 inch of space along the edge of the dough.


12. Fold the unfilled dough over the filling, stretching and pulling it just enough to completely encase everything. ( You will have a semicircle patty. ) With your fingers, firmly press down the edges of the dough, then seal by firmly pressing the tines of a fork into the edges of the empanada.



13. Carefully lift and place the empanada on a prepared baking sheet, and brush with more soy creamer. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling, dividing the filling equally among the dough rounds.

14. Bake the empanadas for 24 to 26 minutes, or until their crust is golden and their edges begin to brown. A little of the filling may bubble out of the edges, but once you get the hang of crimping the edges it won't happen very often. Allow the empanadas to cool for about 5 minutes before serving, as the filling will be extremely hot right out of the oven.

To reheat, either wrap in foil and bake at 350 F for 8 to 10 minutes, or microwave on high for 30 to 35 seconds. Store leftovers chilled in a tightly covered container.

14 comments:

  1. You seriously make the best sounding recipes!!

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  2. Looks yummy.

    I love vegan blogs... it shows the world that vegans eat more than lettuce

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  3. Those empanadas look wonderfully delicious!

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  4. Too bad empanada restaurants don't take after this post. They are severely lacking on the veggie front. I love the idea of stuffing them with a corn filling.

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  5. i'm making these as part of a mexican-themed valentines dinner. can't wait to try them, especially now, since yours look so good!

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  6. SO YUMMY!!! and i love that silk creamer <3

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  7. Oh, Jacklyn, these sound so good! And I've never seen anything quite like them. That creamy corn filling is interesting. Very nice...

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  8. Gauri Radha गौरी राधाFebruary 18, 2011 at 12:06 AM

    These look delicious :-)

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  9. This such a wonder post for us newbies. Thank you for your photos & instructions. - Larry

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  10. I made these last night for the ppk cookbook challenge and they were excellent. I did notice that my filling kind of sank or the dough may have puffed up. When I sliced my empanada like your first picture, there was a huge gap between filling and crust! Any suggestions? More filling? Maybe poke a few tiny holes in the dough to let steam escape prior to baking?

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  11. Oh wow!! You did such an amazing job with these, and that filling sounds so good. I like frozen peas, corn and edamame, but everything else I prefer fresh!

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  12. Gauri Radha गौरी राधाMay 7, 2011 at 2:06 AM

    These look extremely appetizing :-)

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