Make Ahead

Black Bean and Plantain Empanadas with Salsa

April  1, 2011
0 Ratings
  • Makes 12 empanadas
Author Notes

This past Christmas my sister gave me some subscriptions to some of my favorite cooking magazines. In these lean financial times it is nice to get something in the mail that is not a bill and brings some joy! I have been a consumate consumer of cooking magazines for a really long time. I can remember my mom occasionally having a Gourmet laying around the house. The ingredients sounded so exotic to me back then. Now I still read the usual suspects such as Gourmet, Bon Appetit, and Cucina Italiana to name a few. My sister gave me a subscription to Vegetarian Times as well and that is where this recipe has been adapted from.

Since my sister was an exchange student in Ecuador in the mid 90?s my family has had the pleasure of being introduced to many Central and South American food traditions. I have to admit that empanadas are one of my favorites. They are stuffed dough pillows. There are also versions of it in Spain and Haiti. Almost evey culture has a version of empanadas. India has samosas, Jews have knishes, the British have pasties, Poland has given us pierogis, and the USA has provided the world with mass marketed Hot Pockets.

You can form these by hand but I used my sister’s empanada mold that she procured on Amazon. —testkitchenette

What You'll Need
  • Dough (or you can buy the pre-prepared empanada rounds in the freezer section of your market)
  • 2-1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon tumeric
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil (get it cold by putting it in a glass cup or jar and placing in the freezer for a 1/2 hr)
  • 3/4 cup ice cold water
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • Black Bean and Plantain Filling
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 red or yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1-15 ounces can of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 red pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated
  • 2 ripe plantains, peeled and diced
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon coriander
  • 2 teaspoons adobo sauce, from the can of chipotles
  • 1 handful cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1-28 ounces can best quality San Marzano tomatoes (or 1-1/2 lb ripe fresh tomateos)
  • 1 large onion, quartered
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce (if you like it hotter) or 1 jalapeno pepper, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, adjust for your taste
  • grindings of black pepper
  1. Dough (or you can buy the pre-prepared empanada rounds in the freezer section of your market)
  2. Sift the flour, salt, and tumeric in a bowl and dump into the food processor. Add the olive oil by tblsp. into the food processor until mixture looks like a course sand. Add the vinegar to the ice water and add to the mixture and process until a pliable dough forms. You may need a bit more or less of the water as making dough is an inexact science! Gather dough up in plastic wrap, flatten into a disk, and chill for at least an hour or overnight.
  1. Black Bean and Plantain Filling
  2. Heat oil in a large saucepan over med-high heat. Saute onion for about 5 min until soft. Add peppers and garlic and cook till further softened. Add the beans, plantains, and the rest of the ingredients (except for cilantro). Drop heat down to medium and cook until spices fragrant (about 8-10 min.). Lastly, stir in cilantro and get ready to stuff.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 F Take your dough out the the fridge and unwrap it. Place it on a floured workspace (I used my largest cutting board) and divide into 12 balls. Roll out each ball on floured board to approximately 6-7 inches (I used an empty wine bottle in lieu of a rolling pin which I lack). Fill with 2 tblsp. filling and brush edges of dough with H2O. Put into empanada mold, fold over, and press down. Remove excess dough and remove empanada from mold. Put finished empanadas on a cookie sheet lined with silpat or parchment paper. Alternatively, fold the dough circle to close (after brushing edges with H2O) and crimp the edges with a fork to seal. Chill the finished empanadas for 10 minutes (to firm up the dough for baking). Bake for 20 minutes until golden. Cool down for approximately 3 minutes and serve with salsa.
  4. Put all ingredients into the food processor or blender and process till combined. Add the reserved tomato juice if too thick. Add salt and pepper to taste (I add a 1/2 tsp. of salt at a time).

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • kmartinelli
  • testkitchenette

2 Reviews

kmartinelli April 2, 2011
I love empanadas and these look just delicious! If I can't find whole wheat pastry flour do you think I could substitute regular ap or whole wheat flour?
testkitchenette April 4, 2011
Thank you, kmartinelli! You could substitute either white whole wheat flour or ap flour. Straight up whole wheat flour may be too coarse, but having said that, I make cakes with whole wheat flour sometimes and am never disappointed with the results.