Saturday, November 30, 2013

3 Bean Chili Empanadas

I am revisitng some of my own past recipes. Originally I posted about empanadas in November of 2009. I cannot believe it's been that long! Anyhow these are worth a second look because they are truly outstanding and great to tuck in the freezer for a day when you'd rather be looking through pinterest :)  I love pinterest! It never ceases to amaze me how much collective creativity there is out there!!  Long live Pinterest! And 3 Bean Chili Empanadas :)

Bread Dough for Empanadas:

1 cup organic unbleached white flour
I cup organic whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 cup Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks
2/3 cup soy milk (use original flavor)

Measure flour, baking powder, salt and chili powder into a bowl. Cut in margarine thoroughly. Blend with fork or rub through with both hands until it's all mixed in very well. Add 1/3 cup of the milk. Continue adding the remainder at about the rate of 1 tablespoon at a time until flour is moistened and dough almost cleans side of bowl.

Gather dough into ball. Divide into 12 equal pieces. With the aid of a rolling pin make circles approximately 5" in diameter. If you want them all to be the same exact size (I do) roughly roll out your circles and then press them to fit into a round plastic lid. I used the lid from a two cup round ziploc container -- it's the perfect size for this empanada and you will achieve cloned specimens -- which is the look you are going for! You can of course also roll out the dough and use a 5" cutter but I find my method is easier and you're not constantly rolling and re-rolling which in my mind is more work plus the more you roll the tougher your dough gets. Nevertheless, this is a method that is shown in many cookbooks so who am I to say it's not right! You choose how to get your perfect circles. Anyhow the next step is to put in about 2 tablespoons of filling. Don't go crazy and overfill or you'll have troubles making a proper seal. Pinch closed, sealing edges well. Put on parchment lined baking sheet. Bake at 400F for about 20 minutes.

3 Bean Chili Filling:

Make any kind of chili filling you love!  I made a 3 bean chili using black bean, garbanzo and white navy beans. I used most of the ingredients in my original Veggie Prairie Girl chili but I did not include tofu this time as I went with extra beans instead. For empanadas it's best to chop all the veggies into equal size pieces as much as possible and always grate the carrot. I prefer the grated carrot as I find it gives a nicer mellow carrot flavor that way. Otherwise I find the carrot flavor can overpower some of the other veggies. It's difficult to find a truly beautiful flavored carrot these days - at least that's my experience! Best carrots are those obtained from small alberta vegetable farms but that is not always possible in dead of winter for me.

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