Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Pork and Black Bean Empanadas

Empanadas: fried pockets of love!
I think empanada is a fun word, and I recently found myself whispering empanada as I was creating analysis for my day job.  I don't know why, perhaps its that these empanadas are so crave-worthy that I was willing them into existance, but more likely it was reflexive.  The same way that Will Ferrell as Buddy the Elf says, "Francisco, that's a fun name! Fran-cis-co... Francisco!"

Empanadas are a fun word and fun food.  I associate empanadas with fair food because my abuela does not make Mexican food (cheesy potatoes, yes: Tex-Mex, no), but it turns out that even this gringa can make a pretty mean empanada.

I was inspired to make empanadas from the recipe on the bag of corn flour that I got from Aldi (I am linking to Aldi so that you can go to their website and become inspired to become Aldi lovers like me and my Sister in Law).

You may be able to tell from picture that I didn't have the best luck shaping these decadent bundles of joy.  I will again blame that on not having an abuela to to teach me how to handle corn dough.  Even with the odd shape, I managed to get the proportion of dough to filling right, and I strongly recommend giving these a try, and once the fried aroma hits your nostrils there's little chance that you will be able to resist.

The dough is flaky like a corn flavored pie crust and it encases a juicy, succulent filling of pulled pork, fried potatoes and black beans.  As the crust crumbles in your mouth, the heavenly flavor of fatty, briny, porky goodness bursts onto the scene, accented by the subdued spiciness of the black beans and the crisp yet creamy combination that only fried potatoes can bring.

Is it too late for me to whip up a batch right now? My head says yes, but heart says I can't handle a heart attack, so also yes.

Frying food is not exactly the healthiest life choice, nor is it the cleanest one, so I don't do a lot of it.  I will suggest that keeping the oil hot enough to fry the food, but cool enough to keep it from scorching is key.  Unfortunately, the only number I can give you for that temperature is between 3 and 5 on my stove.

I served these with cilantro, sour cream, salsa and peas.  Peas sound out of place, but they are common in Indian cuisine and Indian and Mexican food share a lot of common ingredients so it works.

print recipe

Pork and Black Bean Empanadas
These empanadas are perfect for increasing the fun (and delicious) factor in your kitchen.
  • 2 Cups Corn Flour
  • 1.25 Cups Water
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Cup Unseasoned Black Beans
  • 1/2 Cup Pulled Pork
  • 1 Potato Cubed
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Cumin
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Coriander Seeds
  • 1 Teaspoon Seasoning Salt
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1.5 Teaspoons Chili Powder
  • 1/3 Cup Vegetable Oil
1. Mix corn flour, water and salt to form a dough2. Roll out about 1/3 of dough to somewhere between 1/8 and 1/4 inch thick.3. Using a shape tracer (I used the lid from a mayo jar), cut out 5-6 dough circles and set aside4. Repeat with the rest of dough.5. Heat a small amount of vegetable oil (about 2 Tablespoons) in a large skillet and add potato and all spices. Fry potatoes on medium-high heat for about ten minutes.6. Add black beans and pork to potatoes and heat thoroughly.7. Place one very large spoonful of filling in the center of a dough cutout then add a second dough cutout on top.8. Use your fingers to create a seal around the filling.9. Repeat for all 8 empanadas.10. Heat remaining vegetable oil in a skillet with a lid.11. Fry empanadas about three at a time for two minutes on each side.12. Sprinkle with salt and serve immediately.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 8 Empanadas (3-4 servings)

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