Black Bean Empanadas with Tomato Salsa

A rainy day in the anchorage and so I thought I turn my time into making a delicious vegan recipe for Brent!  I am not the best pastry cook so I paid special attention to the short crust pastry needed for this recipe.  As it was a cold day, this was easier than on a regular sunny tropical day!

Ingredients 

Short crust pastry (for 8 empanadas)

3 cups of plain flour

6 tbsp of vegan margarine (for example Buttery from Nuttelex)

A pinch of salt

About 1 to 2 tbsp of water

A little cayenne pepper to sprinkle on top

1 extra bit of margarine to brush the top of the pastry

Black Bean filling

1 cob of corn

1 small onion

1 can of black beans

1/3 of a can of chopped tomatoes

A clove of garlic 

1 tbsp of olive oil

1 red chili

1 small red pepper

1tsp of cumin seed

A pinch of salt

Tomato Salsa

250 grams of multicolored cherry tomatoes

A tbsp of chopped white onion

2 tbsp of fresh chopped basil

A little olive oil

A little cider vinegar

A little salt

Method

Start with making the short crust pastry well in advance as it needs to rest at least 30 minutes in the fridge after making it.

Put the flour and salt in a bowl and lightly rub the margarine into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs.  Do this very lightly so that you don’t turn the flour into gluten.  It is different from making bread which does need to be kneaded strongly to develop the gluten.

Once all the margarine is rubbed in, add one tbsp of cold water.  Use the heel of your hand to bring the pastry together.  This is the coolest part of the hand and it works well. I was actually surprised at how well the pastry came together.  Don’t over work the pastry.

Only add the second tbsp of water if it is needed to bring the pastry together.  The more water you add the harder the pastry will be when cooked.

Once your pastry is formed wrap it in cling film and put it in the fridge.

To make the filling cut the corn of the cob.  Chop the onion, chili and garlic.

Fry the 4 ingredients in a little olive oil for a minute, add cumin, add the rinsed black beans and 1/3 of can of chopped tomatoes.  Fry for another 2 minutes.

Take a potato masher or the back of a fork and partially mash the beans.

Take the chilled pastry out of the fridge after at least 30 minutes and roll it out on a floured surface.  Take a bowl of about 10cm diameter and use it to cut rounds out of the pastry.  Take a tbsp of the mixture and place it on a half of the pastry round then flip the other half over and press the edges together.  Repeat for all the rounds.

Place the empanadas on a baking sheet, brush with a little margarine or if you are vegetarian with a little egg yolk.  Dust with a little cayenne pepper.

Place in a preheated oven on 180 degrees Celsius and cook for 20 minutes.  I was really pleased with the way the pastry came out, all flaky, soft and golden.

Finely slice the cherry tomatoes and mix with the other ingredients. Add a little salt to taste.

Serve the empanadas hot with the salsa.  You will probably have some black bean mixture left which you can use to stuff peppers or serve on baked potato skins.  Keep it in the fridge until you use it.

Enjoy your empanadas!

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