Monday, November 26, 2012

Black Bean and Corn Empanadas

Our latest cookbook for Cookbook Club is "Year of Pies". I'm almost ashamed to admit that I had never made a homemade pie crust prior to getting this book. And now that I know how easy it is, I'm even more ashamed. It's seriously as simple as flour, salt, butter and water. Sure, a little elbow grease is needed when it comes to rolling it out, but it really is so easy!

I love that the book is broken out into seasons, but winter/holiday/pie all seems to fit together so perfectly. Last week I made a Gingersnap Crust Pumpkin Pie, and Salted Pecan Mini Tarts (of which I over cooked and therefore didn't take pictures of.)

Pumpkin Pie

Since the butter dough recipe makes enough for two pies, I was left with one dough ball that hadn't been used. I hated to see it go to waste, so I put my thinking cap on for a dinner/leftover lunch idea. I wanted it to be easy though, and I wanted to use what I already had in my pantry. Empanadas came to mind, and a quick Google search resulted in the idea for a black bean and corn concoction.

I didn't really follow a recipe- instead I just used what I had (with the exception of some pepper-jack cheese I got at the store), and added the flavors we like. You'll notice that I left out amounts in the "recipe", because I really did the seasoning to taste. I was more than happy with the end result, and leftovers were even better today since the flavors had time to settle in.

I like to place my ingredients together to get an idea of where I'm headed with the dish.

Final result- perfectly browned (and delicious) empanadas.

Black Bean and Corn Empanadas
(makes 10-ish)


1 small onion, chopped
chopped garlic
1 can black beans, drained
1 cup corn (I used frozen straight from the bag)
tomato paste
cinnamon (start with just a sprinkle- a little bit goes a long way)
cayenne powder
roasted red peppers (tomatoes would be a good substitute)
cubed pepper-jack cheese

dough** (This link for a dough recipe provides a lot of great info about why I like all-butter, and why I make my dough by hand. Just omit the sugar when using dough for a savory dish.)

1-2 T melted butter


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Sauté onion in a bit of oil until soft. Add garlic, and stir for a minute or so (until fragrant).
Add remainder of ingredients, stir to mix well, and then cover and cook on low for about 15-20 minutes.

While mixture is cooking, roll out the dough (thin, but not too thin- you don't want it to tear) on a floured surface. Cut circles about 6 inches in diameter. I just used a large ramekin and cut around the outside.

Lightly grease a baking sheet, and add the dough circles two at a time. Fill them with a spoonful of mixture, and a cube or two of cheese, and then rim the edges with a little melted butter to help seal. When you fold one side over, be sure to pinch the seams well to keep the filling inside. I also brushed the tops of mine with a little melted butter. (I used less than 1 T. of butter for all 11 empanadas that my batch made.) Press the edges with a fork to give it a pretty look if you want.

Bake for about 15 minutes- just be sure to check that the dough is cooking, but not overcooking.

Serve with salsa, guacamole, sour cream.....whatever your little heart desires!

**Quick note about pie dough- I mentioned that I prefer an all-butter dough recipe. I also do mine by hand, using a pastry blender to cut the butter into the flour. Don't even bother getting your food processor out- it's just one more thing to clean. Get a big bowl, and do it by hand!

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