I thought I wouldn’t have time to post again, but guess what? I finished work a bit early and just found some time to do a post. Yay.
Empanadas are delicious little stuffed pockets of goodness. They originated in Spain and Portugal and can be traced back to the 1500’s. Damn empanadas, you’re old! Both empanadas and calzones are thought to have been inspired by the samosa. I guess everyone likes to put their own spin on stuffed pockets of food…. people just love to stuff food into other food. Empanadas can be baked or fried, but I have never fried them. I save frying for pupusas.
Anyhow, some of my favorite empanadas are the ones below from Veganomicon.
More recently, I was invited to a potluck by my awesome friend of I Dream of Greenie and I decided to make some….you guessed it, empanadas! This time I decided to veganize a recipe for Spicy Duck Empanadas w/ Citrus Blackberry Dipping Sauce. The end results were pretty yummy, although they were “spiced”, not spicy. They were a success at the potluck, the first dish to be completely eaten….although, I only made a baker’s dozen so there really weren’t that many. I was running short on time, so I just made enough to fill one baking sheet. I did have enough filling and dough for a second batch, but didn’t have time to let them bake.
Now the Spiced “Duck” Empanadas can be in your mouth with this recipe.
Spiced “Duck” Empanadas w/ Citrus Blackberry Dipping or Drizzling Sauce
1 recipe empanada dough (you can use your favorite. I like the one from Veganomicon, so that’s typically the one I use)
2 cans vegetarian mock duck, drained & chopped (omg what?!?!–You can try making your own mock duck from scratch, but just warning you that it is a process and a half because the majority of recipes you’ll find will use veggies rather than seitan. If you want to skip that step, find an asian grocer and check for canned mock duck. I get mine from 99 Ranch Market in Monterey Park. While you’re there, you can get all kinds of other delicious asian goodies. Don’t be scared that it’s in a can. It’s just seitan and only has like 3 ingredients so it’s not scary. I’ve never eaten actual duck, but from what I hear, the flavors are very, very similar)
3 tbsp Earth Balance
1/2 c port wine or other full bodied red wine
1 small red onion, minced or diced finely
1/4 lb button mushrooms, chopped (you can vary this up w/ different ones. Shitakes might be nice too)
1/4 c “beef” broth (I like Better than Boullion’s No Beef flavor, but Edward & Sons also makes good boullion cubes)
1/4 c smashed roasted garlic* (see tip at bottom for roasting garlic if you don’t know how)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp lavender
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 c fresh cilantro, finely chopped
Citrus-Blackberry Sauce (recipe follows)
Melt Earth Balance in a medium to large skillet or saute pan over medium heat. Add the mock duck to the pan. Saute for about a minute, then add the wine. Cook for another minute or so, then add the onion. Saute the onion until it starts to look translucent or close to getting there. Then add your mushrooms. Cook until the mushroom release most of their liquid and cook a lil longer until that liquid reduces from the pan. Stir in the broth, garlic, and spices. Cook until the broth starts to cook away. Remove from heat and let cool to room temp, then add your cilantro. Your filling will look like this:
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with silpats (which you should TOTES have) or parchment if you fail at life and don’t have silpats. Sorry, that was mean, but get yourself a frickin’ silpat. It will save you $ on parchment and will help the environment by not creating so much waste w/ parchment and packaging.
Now, here you can get creative. Lightly flour a work surface and roll out your empanada dough until it’s pretty thin. Not too thin, because you don’t want it break open when you’re trying to fold these guys. Now, here you can either use a round cookie cutter, or pint glass to cut circles, or you can use a pastry cutter to cut out squares. I like to do squares so my empanadas take a triangle shape, rather than a half moon shape. Either way, cut yourself some squares or circles. The size is up to you.
Anyhow, scoop about a tbsp worth of filling into each piece of dough and fold. If you’re making triangles, you’ll want to fold one corner diagonally over the other, just like you would folding a square of paper, to make a triangle shape. Hopefully, we are all familiar with shapes so this shouldn’t be too difficult. If you’re doing circles, just place your filling in the middle and fold your circle in half to create a half moon. I generally have success just pressing the edges together to seal the empanadas, but if your fingers are failing, grab a fork and use that to press the edges down. Remember to poke or slice a vent or two for steam into the top.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the tops or edges of the empanadas are looking golden.
Whilst the empanadas are baking, make the sauce!
Citrus-Blackberry Dipping Sauce
1 tbsp Earth Balance
1/4 c shallot, minced
1 1/4 c fresh blackberries
1/4 c raspberry vinegar
1/4 c white wine
1/4 c orange juice
2 tbsp orange zest (zest the orange before you juice!)
2 tbsp packed brown sugar
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
Melt Earthy B in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the shallot and saute for about a minute. Add the blackberries, wine, vinegar, orange juice & zest, brown sugar and maple syrup. Reduce heat to medium and cook about 10 minutes or until it starts to turn syrupy. While the sauce is cooking, I like to smash up the blackberries with my wooden spoon or spatula. If you like very smooth sauces, you can transfer this to a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. I don’t mind the delicious little bits of food though, so I leave it as is. Use this sauce to either drizzle over the empanadas or to dip them in. 🙂
*To Roast Garlic: Preheat oven to 325°F. Start with a whole, unpeeled head and cut off the bottom with a sharp knife. If you don’t have a very sharp knife, cut off the top of the garlic. Oil a tiny baking dish (like a creme brulee dish or ramekin) with a high heat oil. Place the garlic in the dish and drizzle a tiny bit of oil on top. Cover with foil and bake for 45-60 min until the garlic is soft. Let cool slightly and the garlic should just squeeze right out of the skins when you give it a little push.