April 8 is National Empanada Day and here is a sneak preview. What better way to celebrate than to bring you one of my favorite meals tucked into an Empanada.
Growing up, picadillo was the number one requested meal in our house. A rich ground beef dish swimming with potatoes in a hearty broth. The aroma wafting from the kitchen even made Papi turn away from his Lucha Libre (Mexican wrestling).
Served with warm corn tortillas this dish, served up a hefty dose of comfort with each bite. Inspired by my mami’s picadillo I stepped into the kitchen determined to put a healthier spin on my beloved picadillo and wrap this goodness into a pocket of soft dough. I didn’t want the picadillo to lose its beefy punch, so I decided to chickpeas along with potatoes. Bell peppers, onion, and diced tomatoes give it richness, while the cumin, oregano and garlic add the depth of an all day slow simmer.
Baked until golden brown and eaten while warm these meatless empanadas are mami approved.
MEATLESS PICADILLO EMPANADAS Serves: 6-8
Ingredients: 2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced 3 Tbsp. olive oil 1 small onion, diced 1 small bell pepper, diced 2 cloves garlic, minced 1-15oz can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed 1-15oz can diced tomatoes, with juice 1 Tbsp. ground cumin 1 tsp. dried Mexican oregano ¼ cup stuffed pimento olives, diced Salt Pepper ½ cup cilantro, washed
Instructions: 1. Place potatoes in a small saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil; simmer for about 10 minutes or until tender. Drain; cool. 2. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, bell pepper and garlic. Sauté 2-3 minutes. 3. Stir in potatoes, garbanzo beans, tomatoes with juice, cumin, oregano and olives. 4. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Cover; reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. 5. Add cilantro. 6. Serve warm or use as filling for empanadas.
EMPANADA DOUGH Makes: About 20 discs
Ingredients: 2 cups all purpose flour ½ tsp. salt ½ cup cold butter, cut into small chunks ¼ cup water 1 egg
Instructions: For the Dough: 1. Place flour and salt food processor. 2. Add the small chunks of butter and pulse until the mixture resembles fine bread crumbs. 3. Slowly stream in water while pulsing until dough comes together. 4. Shape dough into a ball and chill in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes. 5. On a floured surface roll out the dough into a thin sheet, using a cookie cutter or glass cut out 2½ round discs. 6. Gather all dough scraps together, reroll and continue to cut disc until all dough is used.
For the Empanadas: 1. Preheat oven to 375°. 2. Place ¼ cup filling on one side of a *dough circle. Fold the dough over to form a half circle. 3. With a fork crimp edges to seal dough. 4. Place empanadas on baking sheet and chill for 10 minutes in fridge. 5. When ready to bake, beat the egg yolk with 1 tablespoon water. 6. Brush the egg wash over each empanada. 7. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown. 8. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.