Saturday, August 11, 2012

Empanadas with pepper sauce

I made this pepper sauce a couple days ago, tossed in a can of black beans, served it over fried polenta rounds, and topped it with grated cheddar and avocado slices. That's a good meal.

So good, I had to make the sauce again. And then I had to make some finger food to go with it to take to John&Christina's martini science party. I found this empanada dough that has a bit of polenta in it, since the sauce went so well with polenta before. It makes empanadas that are pretty crunchy, but also a little bit soft and a little bit flaky.

800g bread flour
200g polenta
2/3 c olive oil
1 stick butter, melted
2/3 c dry white wine
1 t sugar
~2/3 c hot water
semolina for dusting
1 egg, beaten

Mix everything except the water in a bowl. Knead in the water a little bit at a time, adding just enough to make the dough hold together. Cover and let rest while you make the filling and sauce (an hour or two). When you're ready to form the empanadas, preheat the oven to 425F and line baking sheets with parchment. Chop the dough into 64 pieces (just keep subdividing). Roll each dough bit into a 3" round (the size of the dumpling maker), fill it with about a tablespoon of filling, and pinch it closed with the dumpling maker. Brush with egg and bake for 15-20 min until golden.

4 cloves garlic, minced
canola oil
2 carrots
1 lb red cabbage
1 can black beans
5 green onions, thinly sliced
salt and pepper
1/2 t each coriander, cumin, and oregano
8 oz grated cheddar+gruyere

Grate the carrots and cabbage (eg in the food processor). Saute the garlic over medium-low heat, then add the carrots, cabbage, and black beans. Cook, covered, until soft, adding the green onions and spices partway through. Transfer to a bowl and let cool. Grate the cheese (you don't even have to wash the food processor first) and stir it into the veggies. Adjust the spices, remembering that the empanadas will be dipped in the sauce.

canola oil
1 medium red onion
2 jalapeno and/or aji lucento peppers
1 unidentified, medium-spicy purple pepper
1 green poblano pepper
1 medium red bell pepper
4 assorted tomatoes

Chop everything into small dice, and heat some oil over medium heat. Saute the onion, then add the spicy peppers, then the sweet peppers, then the tomatoes, sauteing for 5 min between each addition. Simmer, uncovered, until the tomato juice is reduced to a nice thick sauce. Add a dash of salt; it shouldn't need anything else. Blend if you're using it as a dipping sauce, or don't bother if you're just glopping it on something.

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