Thursday, October 9, 2008

A little empanada, is better than nada...

Empanadas are all the fun of a hot pocket (look, it's a meal, in a pocket, and I'm holding it in my hand!) without the trans fat and other sketchy crap they stuff in those things.

Okay, you'll need to find vegan empanada wrappers (or make your own dough, there is a great recipe here), which I happen to have found at my local crazy store (which is what I call this low-budget grocery owned by a Haitian couple who apparently have a thing for random international foods).

So, thaw the wrappers while you're making your filling.

The beauty of the filling is that you can use whatever the heck you want, though I personally find this super easy and really tasty:

You'll need:
1 medium or large onion
1 green or red pepper
1 package of soy crumbles (like Boca) or 8oz. homemade seitan crumbled and pre-cooked in a skillet for about 20 minutes
1 T olive oil
1 T taco or fajita seasoning
cayenne pepper to taste (1/8 t or so)
Soy cheese (I use Teese and I love it so), grated

Dice your onion and put the olive oil in a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Saute the onion until translucent (5 to 7 minutes), add the pepper and saute another 5 minutes. Add the taco seasoning and cayenne and saute until fragrant (about a minute), add soy crumbles and cook until heated through (about 5 minutes).
When the mixture is done create a work station to stuff and seal your empanadas. You will fill each wrapper in the center with 1-2 T of the mixture and a little grated cheese (less than a T). Then fold the wrapper in half, and press the edges together with a fork. Slice a little v-shape in the top center of the empanada so the insides can steam and breathe while they cook (and so your empanadas don't explode!)

All of your finished empanadas will need to go on a greased baking sheet. Bake the empanadas at 350 for about 20 minutes, check on them half way and rotate your baking sheet. When the dough is golden and the insides start to bubble, they are done!

Now, the other thing they have in common with a hot pocket is that the insides are molten-lava-lose-your-tongues-top-layer hot when they come out of the oven. So let them stand at least 10 minutes. Seriously. Do not bite into one right out of the oven. I know it's hard, but your mouth will thank you.

In that ten minutes you can make a yummy dipping sauce like guacamole or the following, which is super tasty, chipotle cream!

Chipotle Cream

You'll need:
2 chipotles in adobo
2 t of the sauce from the can (or more if you want the sauce spicy)
1/3 box of firm silken tofu (6-9 ounces)
1/4 c nutritional yeast
1 t salt
2 cloves of garlic, pressed

Combine all ingredients together in a food processor until very creamy and uniform. Add more adobo sauce from the chipotles in adobo can if you want the dip spicier.

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