Sunday, May 29, 2011


I've been sleeping fitfully recently and so I was up quite early yesterday.  There was nothing on the television and I ended up on Planet Green watching an episode of Emeril Green.  What hooked me was that he was cooking vegetarian.  So I watched, took some notes and then veganized his recipe along with my own twist.  So I present to you, my take on Emeril's vegetarian empanadas.  I served this with garlic green beans and home made refried beans.  I'll post the refried beans on their own recipe.

The salsa:
1 mango peeled and diced
3/4 of a seedless cucumber, peeled and diced
1 red onion finely diced
juice of one lime
1/8 tsp Hawaiian red salt
Mix all of these in a bowl and place in the fridge and let chill for 24 hours.

The dough:
You're going to need two 8oz containers of vegan cream cheese, 12 tbsp of Earth Balance, 2 1/2 cups of flour and 1/2 tsp of salt.

Have the cream cheese and Earth Balance at room temperature and using the paddle blade of a stand mixer combine at medium high speed until well blended.  Then reduce to slow speed and slowly add the flour and salt.  Once the four ingredients are combined, divide in half and turn each half out onto a lightly floured surface.  Knead gently and then flatten each into a disc and wrap individually in plastic wrap.  Chill for at least 3 hours.

The filling:
1 pound of shitake mushrooms with the stems removed
1 vidalia onion sliced
1 serrano pepper, seeds removed
1/4 cup golden raisens
1/2 bottle of stuffed green olives
1 Tbsp drained capers
1 8oz can of tomato sauce
3 Tbsp orange juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Put all of these ingredients into a food processor and pulse until well minced.  This may take two or three batches.  While doing this, heat some olive oil in a large skillet.  Once heated, add all of the filling and cook for 15 minutes or so, stirring occasionally, making sure to scrape the bottom of the pan.

Remove from heat and let cool.

Take the dough from the fridge after it has chilled 3+ hours, flour a surface and roll out to a 1/8" thickness.  Then cut circles from the dough (I used a margarita glass).  Place a spoonful of filling in the middle of each circle, use some olive oil to moisten half the circle and then fold in half, keeping the filling inside.  Press the edges together and then use a fork to press the edge together.  Transfer to a baking sheet and continue until all of the dough has been rolled out and filled.  (I ended up with a little extra filling).

Lightly brush each empanada with olive oil and bake at 450 for 15 minutes

Plate 2 or 3 at a time and place a dollop of salsa across them.

I ended up with about 35 empanadas and they were delicious!

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