Empanadas are a tasty and versatile dish that can be enjoyed as a snack or a main course. Traditional empanadas are typically made with meat, but we have a plant-based version that will satisfy even the most discerning taste buds. In this article, we will guide you through the process of making delicious plant-based empanadas from scratch. So, let’s get started!
Crafting the Perfect Dough
To begin, let’s prepare the dough that will envelop our savory fillings. In a large food processor, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Pulse the ingredients until they are well mixed and form a uniform mixture. Now, add vegetable shortening and pulse again to achieve a sand-like consistency.
Gradually incorporate soy milk into the mixture, pulsing after each addition until a dough forms. If necessary, transfer the dough to a bowl and knead it by hand until it becomes smooth and pliable. The ideal dough should not stick to your hands nor crumble easily.
Roasting the Poblano Pepper
Next, we will prepare the flavorful filling for our empanadas. Begin by roasting a poblano pepper using either a grill, an oven broiler, or a gas stove flame. Each method will yield a slightly different charred flavor, so choose according to your preference. After roasting, place the pepper in a bowl and cover it with plastic wrap for about 10-15 minutes. This steaming process will make it easier to remove the skin. Once steamed, gently peel off the skin, cut the pepper in half, and remove the seeds and stems. Finely dice the poblano peppers, using as much as you desire for your filling.
In a medium sauté pan over medium-low heat, combine diced potatoes and water. Bring the water to a boil, then cover the pan and allow the potatoes to steam for 7 to 10 minutes, or until they are almost cooked through. Add a tablespoon of oil to the pan, along with onions and garlic. Sauté until the onions turn translucent and the garlic becomes fragrant. Now, introduce tomatoes, diced poblanos, cumin, chili powder, oregano, tomato paste, and pinto beans. Stir the mixture continuously for 5 more minutes until the potatoes are fully cooked.
To add a burst of freshness, incorporate spinach into the pan. Cover the pan for two minutes to allow the spinach to steam. Remove the lid and season the filling with salt and pepper to taste. If desired, use a potato masher or fork to roughly mash the mixture into a refried beans-like consistency. Fold in some cilantro and set the filling aside to cool.
Assembling the Empanadas
Now that our dough and filling are ready, it’s time to assemble the empanadas. On a lightly floured work surface, divide the dough into two portions. Then, divide each portion into 8 pieces, resulting in a total of 16 pieces. Roll each piece into a small ball and flatten it into a disc using your hands. Use a floured rolling pin or cup to roll out each disc to a thickness of about a quarter inch. Remember, perfection in shape is not essential!
To prevent the empanadas from drying out, we recommend assembling them one by one. Place a spoonful of the prepared filling in the center of each disc, along with a pinch of Daiya Mozzarella Style Shreds for a cheesy touch. Fold the top edge of the disc over to the bottom, pressing the dough together to seal. Use your thumb to ensure a secure closure, and for a professional touch, press the edges with a fork. Repeat this process for the remaining empanadas.
There are two fantastic ways to cook your plant-based empanadas – in an air fryer or in an oven. For air frying, line the air fryer with foil and arrange 2 to 4 empanadas in a single layer. Air fry at 375°F for 10-13 minutes, or until they turn a lovely golden color. If you prefer baking, place the empanadas on a lined baking sheet and bake in a preheated oven at 400°F for 18-24 minutes, or until they reach the desired golden hue.
Serving and Storage Suggestions
Once cooked to perfection, allow the empanadas to cool slightly before indulging in their deliciousness. They are excellent as a standalone treat or accompanied by a tangy dipping sauce. If you have any leftovers, store the empanadas in an airtight container in the refrigerator. The dough will retain its quality for up to 1-2 days if flattened into a disk and wrapped in plastic wrap.
Tips for a Sensational Experience
The Daiya Mozzarella Style Shreds used in this recipe elevate the flavor and texture of the empanadas. For even better results, use a liquid vegan egg like JUST Egg to brush the empanadas instead of soy milk. This will yield a more aesthetically pleasing result, with a beautifully golden finish.
If poblano peppers are unavailable, feel free to substitute them with Anaheim peppers, bell peppers, or even jalapeño peppers, depending on your spice tolerance and flavor preferences.
And there you have it! A delightful recipe for plant-based empanadas that will leave your taste buds begging for more. Enjoy the journey of creating these delectable treats, and let your culinary creativity soar!
*Note: This article is an original creation inspired by the provided content.