Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Corn and Poblano Empanadas

Empanadas are one of the foods I miss from Houston. You can find them in many grocery stores and bakeries, hot and fresh with many different fillings: meat, cheese or vegetables (especially pumpkin). I found a recipe that looked tasty yet easy to make, at least for someone who likes working with dough.

The key to these pastries is to not handle the dough too much or it will become tough. The chili powder lent a tiny amount of heat to the dough, but if you dont like any heat, leave it out. You wont miss it.

This is also a beautiful make ahead dish - I prepped the dough and filled it before covering with plastic wrap until I was ready to bake. I served these as a main dish, but they would make great apps for a party. Besides the make ahead component, they are great served at room temp as well as hot.

And the filling possibilities are endless - zucchini, chicken, chorizo, even pizza sauce and mushrooms - let your imagination guide you!

Have fun with them!

Corn and Poblano Empanadas (Adapted from Cooking Light)

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup masa harina
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
2 poblano peppers
Cooking spray
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 cups fresh corn kernels (about 3 ears)
3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded Oaxaca or mozzarella cheese
1 large egg white
1 tablespoon water

Preheat oven to 500°.

Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, masa harina, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and chili powder in a food processor; pulse 3 times. Add water and butter; pulse until mixture forms a loose ball. Remove from processor; knead until ball completely forms. Divide dough into 8 equal portions. Shape each dough portion into a ball; flatten each ball into a 3-inch circle on a lightly floured surface. Cover and chill 30 minutes. (Stack dough portions between pieces of wax paper.)
Place poblanos on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake at 500° for 20 minutes or until brown and blistered, turning once. Place in a zip-top plastic bag; seal. Let stand 15 minutes. Peel poblanos; cut in half lengthwise. Discard seeds and membranes, and finely chop. Place in a medium bowl.
Reduce oven temperature to 425°.
Heat a nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add garlic; sauté 30 seconds. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and corn; sauté 3 minutes. Add to poblanos; let stand 5 minutes. Stir in cheese.
Roll each dough portion into a (5-inch) circle. Working with 1 circle at a time (cover remaining circles with a damp towel to prevent drying), spoon 3 level tablespoons corn filling into center of each circle. Moisten edges of dough with water; fold dough over filling. Press edges together with a fork or fingers to seal. Place empanadas on a large baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Combine egg white and 1 tablespoon water. Lightly coat tops of empanadas with egg mixture. Pierce top of dough with a fork. Bake at 425° for 20 minutes or until lightly browned.

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