Sweet Potato + Black Bean Empanadas

Things are pretty chill around here. I finally got up to Green City Market on the North Side last weekend with my daddio, and was a little produce-happy. It's cherry season, so I made sure to get a bunch of sour cherries to make pie (I tried a different recipe from the one I made last summer, and decided that I preferred last summer's filling but this summer's crust, so I'm going back to the market for round 3 this weekend), plus French radishes, pattypan squash, heirloom tomatoes, a crazy amount of basil that I made into pesto, and an awesome mesclun mix. I also got some whole wheat sourdough bread (which was divine with fresh ricotta cheese, sliced tomatoes, and a slurp of pepper olive oil), fresh cheese, and obviously a huge bunch of flowers, because when do I not take the opportunity to buy myself flowers? Especially lilies? Never. So yes, it was quite a successful trip.


One great meal that came out of that trip, that I didn't even take the time to photograph, was the radishes and pattypan squash that I sautéed simply with butter and a little salt, and served over homemade pasta with some fresh ricotta, lemon, and basil. Ugh. Yes. That is what summer food should be.

And of course it was also the Copa Mundial final match this weekend! I was rooting for Argentina, but Götze's goal was pretty beautiful, I must say. I was disappointed that Argentina lost of course, but like, I ain't even mad. That goal was so graceful. Anyway, I went to watch the game at a friend's apartment, and made empanadas for munchies. Most of them I stuffed with queso Chihuahua and prosciutto, and the others were filled with a potato and broccolini mixture. The potato one inspired this sweet potato-black bean rendition, since I had a bunch of black beans I still needed to use up. Que disfruten!


Sweet Potato + Black Bean Empanadas

Dough:
from Laylita's Recipes

3 c all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1.5 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1 egg
1/3+ c cold water

Combine the flour and salt in a large bowl. Cut the butter into the flour using your fingers, pastry cutter, food processor, etc, until the mixture becomes a coarse meal. Chill in the fridge or freezer for ~10 minutes so the butter doesn't get too warm. Make a well in the center of the mixture for the egg, then beginning with 1/3 c water, combine the wet and dry ingredients to form a soft (but not wet) dough. Add water as necessary. Cut the dough into two halves, wrap with plastic wrap, and chill for an hour or more while making the filling.

Filling:
inspired by My Columbian Recipes

2 c peeled and diced sweet potato (2 small potatoes)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 onion, diced
1/2 serrano chili, chopped very finely
3-4 cloves garlic, chopped very finely
1 tomato, diced
15 ounces cooked black beans, drained (you can use canned if you'd like, just be sure to rinse them as well)
Handful cilantro, chopped
Kosher salt and pepper, to taste

In a small pot of water, bring the sweet potatoes to a boil and cook until mashable. Heat the olive oil over medium heat, then sauté the onion, chili, and garlic until soft and fragrant, then add the tomato as well. Season with salt and pepper, and cook until the tomatoes slump and the onions are translucent.

In a large bowl, mash the sweet potatoes (they don't need to be completely smooth, just enough to make a cohesive filling). Add in the sautéed veggies, black beans, and cilantro, then season and stash in the fridge to cool completely.

Assembly:

Extra flour
1 egg, beaten

Roll out one half of the dough at a time, being sure it's dusted liberally with flour. Cut out rounds of dough, depending on how large you want your empanadas (I used a martini glass (lulz) but you could use a cookie cutter like a normal person). Recombine the scraps and stow them back in the fridge. Brush the half the edge of each round with egg, then put a heaping tablespoon or so of the filling in the center (you want it to be full but able to be sealed properly). Fold the un-egg-brushed half over, then press the edges with your fingertips to seal. At this point you could either use a fork to seal the edges completely (which is what I did because I was in a rush), or you could do a spiral folding number on them (Google how to seal empanadas if you're interested in being an overachiever).

Place your filled and sealed empanadas on parchment paper or a Silpat on a sheet pan, then cool in the fridge for ~30 minutes. Keep rolling out the dough/cutting into rounds/re-rolling scraps until you've used up all the dough. You'll probably run out of dough before you run out of filling.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Brush the cooled empanadas with egg, then bake for 18-25 minutes depending on their size, until they're golden brown and delicious. Resist the temptation to eat them immediately unless you're cool with burning the skin off the roof of your mouth. These are really good served with some pico de gallo, but they're also yummy on their own.

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