Thursday, October 04, 2007

Black Bean Empanadas

from the CIA's Breakfast and Brunches

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup finely diced onions
3/4 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano, crumbled
1 1/2 cups cooked black beans
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoons water
1/4 cup crumbled queso blanco or cheddar cheese
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup masa harina
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons water
egg wash
3 cups oil (for frying)
kosher salt, as needed for garnish

1. To make filling:.
2. Heat olive oil in a medium saute pan over med-hi heat. Add onion and garlic and saute until tender, stirring frequently to prevent garlic from burning.
3. Stir in the cumin and oregano and cook for 30 more seconds. Add the beans and salt and pepper.
4. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Place beans in a blender and puree. If they are too stiff, add the water as needed to make a smooth puree.
5. Transfer to a bowl and mix in the cheese.
6. The filling can be prepared ahead and stored in the fridge for up to 2 days.
7. To make dough:.
8. Combine the flour, masa harina, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Toss to mix. Add oil and stir with a wooden spoon.
9. In a liquid measuring cup, mix together the eggs and water. Add gradually to the flour mixture until it is all incorporated.
10. Turn dough out onto a board and knead until it is very pliable - about 3 minutes. Add more flour or water if needed.
11. To assemble:.
12. Roll the dough out very thinly, about 1/16 inch thickness. Cut using a 3 inch round cutter. You should have 24 circles.
13. In a small bowl beat together 1 egg and 1 T. water to make an egg wash.
14. Place 2-1/2 teaspoons of filling in the center of each circle. Brush edges with egg wash and fold in half. Seal by pressing together with a fork. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet.
15. You may make these ahead and chill, covered, for up to 24 hours or freeze for up to 3 weeks.
16. **Heat oil in a deep fryer or skillet to 350 degrees. Fry until golden brown and crisp about 3-4 minutes. Drain on paper towels and sprinkle with kosher salt before serving.
17. Serve with sour cream, salsa or guacamole.

**Alternately, brush tops of empandas with an egg wash and bake in a 425ºF oven for about 20 minutes or until lightly golden brown.

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