Monday, February 04, 2008
Bean and Cheese Empanadas
from Mark Bittman's How To Cook Everything Vegetarian
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus a little more
1/2 cup masa harina, fine cornmeal or more all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons shortening or vegetable oil
2 1/2 cups cooked and well-seasoned beans
2 cups grated or crumbled queso fresco, Monterey Jack, or coltija cheese
1/2 cup milk
1. Mix the flour, masa harina, baking powder, and salt together in the food processor and process for about 5 seconds. With the machine running, add the 1/2 cup shortening and process for 10 seconds. Then, with the machine running, add about 1/2 cup cold water, just enough for the dough to form a ball. Don't add more water than necessary; the dough should be fairly dry. Knead by hand until smooth, just a minute or so.
2. Divide into 12 pieces, roll into balls, and wrap in plastic or cover with a damp towel and let rest for at elast 20 minutes. (You can refrigerate the dough overnight; be sure to let it come to room temperature before proceeding.) On a well-floured surface, rolle ach piece into a 6-inch circle, adding flour as necessary.
3. Preheat the oven to 450ºF. Place a couple of tablespoons of the beans in the center of each circle of dough, followed by a sprinkling of cheese, then fold each circle overl seal the seam with a few drops of water and press with the tines of a fork to close. Put on an ungreased baking sheet and brush lightly with milk. Bake until the dough is golden brown and hot, and about 20 minutes. Serve immediately or at room temperature.
**The sky is the limit with these empanadas, they will take well to any filling, as long as the filling isn't too wet.