Corn and Black Bean Empanadas


Okay, so I think I made something that's a cross between an empanada and a hand pie. I chose not to fry them - I baked them instead in an effort to be semi-healthy. And as many vegans know, it's hard to get golden brown pastry in the oven without using an egg wash. (If you know a trick, please let me know if the comments!) In the end, my pastry ended up being a bit too thick and flaky for an empanada dough, and tasted more like a savory pie crust. But, alas, they were delicious!


I still included the pastry recipe below because it tasted good and I think it still might work if you fry them and roll the dough out a bit thinner. I'm definitely going to try making them again and test out other methods, but for now, we really enjoyed eating these em-PIE-nadas! (see what I did there?!)


 
^ Before and after the oven ^

Ingredients
3 cups flour
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup water
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup diced bell pepper
1 can black beans
1/2 can corn
1/2 packet of 90 second brown rice
1 1/2 Tbsp sofrito
1/4 tsp chili powder
dash salt
1/4 cup Daiya mozzarella shreds, optional

Instructions
To make the dough, add flour and vegetable shortening to a large mixing bowl. Using a pastry knife or two knifes, cut the shortening into the dough until tiny pebbles form. Add apple cider vinegar and water, and knead until it forms a firm dough. If it's too dry, add a few drops more water until it comes together easily to form a ball. Wrap ball of dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, ideally an hour.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add diced pepper and cook until slightly softened, 1-2 minutes. Add black beans, rice, corn, sofrito, chili powder, and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 3-4 minutes. Reduce heat to low and add cheese, if using. Stir until cheese melts and is evenly distributed. Remove from heat and set aside.

When dough is chilled, remove plastic wrap and divide into 12 balls. Using a rolling pin, roll each ball into a disc, about 6 inches in diameter. Add 1 Tbsp filling to the middle of each disc and fold in half to form a half moon. Pinch edges with fingers or a fork to seal. If desired, fold the edge over itself to create a stronger seal and braided edge. Place on a baking sheet and brush lightly with water or unsweetened almond milk. Using a fork, poke a hole in the top of each empanada to let out steam. Bake 20 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving. Serve with salsa as dipping sauce, optional.

Makes 12-15 empanadas

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