Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Banana and Black Bean Empanadas

Banana and Black Bean Empanadas (Adapted from Vegetarian Times)

For the pastry

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2" cubes
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1/3 cup icy-cold water

For the filling

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup cooked black beans
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup diced bananas
1 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper sauce

To prepare the pastry

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt and chili powder. Add butter and use your fingers to rub ingredients together until the mixture resembles coarse meal.

In a small bowl, whisk together applesauce, vinegar and water. Add to the dry ingredients and stir just until a dough forms, adding sprinkles of cold water if the dough looks too dry. Scoop mixture out onto a lightly floured surface and knead a couple times to finish bringing the dough together. Flatten dough into a dish, wrap in saran wrap and place into the refrigerator to chill for at least 1 hour.

To prepare the filling

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high. Add onion - cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in beans and garlic - reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring often, for 3 minutes. Stir in bananas, cumin, cayenne and coriander - cook until bananas begin to break down, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat - stir in cilantro and red pepper sauce, then set aside to cool.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Evenly divide the dough into 12 pieces, rolling each into a ball. On lightly floured work surface, roll out each ball to 6" round (roughly 1/4" thick). Place about 2 tablespoons of the filling on one round, then lightly brush the edges with water. Fold dough over the filling to make a half-circle, then crimp edges with a fork to seal. Set empanada onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper - repeat process with remaining dough and filling.

Cover baking sheet and place into the refrigerator to chill for 15 minutes. Remove cover and place the pan into the oven to bake until the empanadas are golden brown and crusty, about 20 minutes. Remove and let cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before serving.

Makes about 6 servings.

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