Makes 36 empanadas.
Calories per empanada: 140
Cooking & Preparation time: About 1 hour.
Tidbits: This a fairly straightforward recipe that anyone can do. However, I categorized it as a medium difficulty recipe due to the amount of work involved. Its a great food for pot lucks and parties due to the large quantity that it makes. The most crucial part of this recipe is getting ripe plantains. If the plantains are not ripe, they will taste like stiff flavorless mush. The smart food veggie crumbles can be replaced with about 1 cup of cooked rice if desired. If you have any extra pastry dough, stuff with whatever fruit and/or chocolate that you have lying around for a special treat!
2 ripe plantains (yellow w/ black spots, soft when squeezed) (frozen plantains can also be used)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 small yellow onion, diced
1/2 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 plum tomato, diced finely
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon oregano (or fresh oregano)
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup vegetable broth
1/2 t salt, or to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
1 package smart ground original (found in the refrigerated section near the produce & organic section of Publix)
2 package puff pastry dough (found in frozen section)
1. Remove the puff pastry dough from the freezer and allow to thaw, then begin to chop all the vegetables as specified above.
2. Preheat the oven to 350F and tear off a 12 inch long piece of aluminum foil. Peel the ripe plantains, wrap in the foil, and bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until soft. Unwrap, let cool enough to handle, and dice into 1/2 inch pieces.
3. While the plantains are baking, combine the oil and garlic over medium heat in a large skillet. Allow the garlic to sizzle for 30 seconds, then add the onion, bell pepper, and tomato. Using a wooden spoon to stir it occasionally, fry until the onion begins to turn translucent, 5-10 minutes.
4. Sprinkle in the cumin and oregano and fry for another 30 seconds. Stir in the beans and vegetable broth and increase the heat to medium-high. Add 1 package of Smart Ground. If you’re using frozen plantains, add them at this point. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to medium. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes until most of the liquid is absorbed and the beans are softened. Add water as the liquid dries up to prevent the food from sticking to the pan.
5. If you prefer to mash the fresh plantains into smaller pieces, add them now, otherwise, add them after mashing. Using a spoon lightly mash the beans until the mixture is chunky. Remove from the heat and let cool enough to handle.
6. Unfold the pastry dough onto a floured pan and cut into 3 equal portions. Flatten each section to about 1/8 of an inch thick and then slice into 3 pieces each. Fill the puff pastry dough with the mixture and fold over and close. Triangles work best, but feel free to try other shapes.
7. Bake the empanadas according to the directions on the pastry dough package (approximately 15 minutes)
8. Serve with sour cream (lime and cilantro) or creamy tomato guacomole (Recipe follows)
Creamy Tomato Guacamole
Note: If you really like guacamole, you may want to double this recipe. As is, its enough for a generous amount on about 20 empanadas.
2 Cloves Garlic, minced
1 Ripe Avocado, diced
1 large ripe tomato, diced (beefsteak tomatoes are especially good)
1/2 cup of minced onion (white or sweet)
3 tablespoon lime juice
2 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoon fresh cilantro
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
Dash of hot sauce
1. Using a food processor or blender, mix all ingredients together until creamy with some chunks of avocado. Taste and adjust the flavor with salt, lime juice, or vinegar, parsley, and/or hot sauce if desired. Serve immediately.