Friday, October 12, 2012

VeganMoFo Day 10: Filipino Empanadas

There are tons of empanada variations in the world...from Spain to Argentina to Peru, and so on. Filipino empanadas are by far my favorite. There was always a huge tray of them at family parties when I was growing up. Filipino empanadas are made with a dense sweet dough, which is a nice contrast to their savory picadillo style filling. I remember sometimes eating only the fluted edge of dough because it tasted so good by itself. :)

Since vegan Filipino empanadas are hard to find, I created this recipe to satisfy my craving for a dish that’s tied to so many sweet memories from childhood. I left out the raisins because I hate raisins in savory food now, just as much as I did when I was little. Feel free to add them if you’d like.  :)

Makes 12 empanadas

For the filling:
2 tablespoons vegetable oil 
3-4 cloves garlic, minced 
1 medium onion, minced
1 medium potato, peeled and diced into small cubes
1 12 oz. package of vegan ground beef (such as Yves) -- or tempeh or seitan crumbles
1 cup vegetable broth 
1 cup peas (thawed, if frozen) 
Salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant.  
  3. Add the onions and sauté for 2 minutes. 
  4. Add the potatoes and cook for another 2 minutes.
  5. Add the vegan ground beef and let it brown for 2 minutes.
  6. Stir in the broth and let simmer until potatoes are tender and the liquid has reduced.
  7. Add the peas and season with salt and pepper, as needed.
  8. Set the filling mixture aside and let cool.
For the dough:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup evaporated cane sugar (or other granulated sugar)
2/3 cup water
1/2 cup vegetable oil (I used canola)
Soy or almond milk, for brushing
  1. In a large bowl, stir the flour, evaporated cane juice, water, and oil together until a dough forms. (the dough will feel oily-- that's ok!)
  2. Divide the dough evenly into 12 pieces and roll each piece into a ball.
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. On a cutting board or other clean surface, roll a dough ball into a flat circle about ½ cm in thickness.
  3. Place 1-2 spoonfuls of the filling on the dough.
  4. Fold the dough over to form a semi-circle, leaving a small lip on the bottom layer. 
  5. Using your index finger, fold the lip on the bottom layer over your other index finger repeatedly as you move along the edge of the empanada to form a rope crimp. (or just press the edge down with a fork to seal)
  6. Place the empanada on a parchment-lined baking sheet and repeat the steps above for each dough ball.
  7. Brush each empanada with milk.
  8. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown.
  9. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Some notes:
  • There will probably be extra filling -- eat it with rice! :)
  • The empanada dough won't turn out flaky, in case you're wondering. 
  • I've used whole wheat pastry flour in this recipe with great results.
  • I honestly don't think I could ever get sick of eating these. :)