Empanadas = adultspeak for super-awesome hot pockets. These empanadas are absolutely addictive and delicious. The earthy sweetness of the sweet potatoes plays well with the spicy peppers, savory pork, and umami of the soy sauce. Once ensconced in a flaky, delicious dough, this filling really sings.
These empanadas are equally delicious both hot out of the oven and cold out of the refrigerator. I served them with soy sauce and garlic hot sauce mixture as a dipping sauce, but they would be good with absolutely nothing or pretty much anything you could think of. I loved the combination of soy and hot sauce because it worked with the flavors that already existed in the empanada.
Pork and Sweet Potato Empanadas
3 cups all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup cold water
1 whole egg
1 egg white
1 tsp. vinegar
3 tbs. shortening
Lightly whisk together water, egg, egg white, and vinegar. Set aside.
Add flour to a food processor. A little bit at a time, while pulsing, add shortening. If necessary, add more shortening or flour to get a crumbly, moist consistency.
With machine running, slowly pour in egg and water mixture until dough just forms.
Remove from food processor and knead until dough comes together. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour, up to 24 hours.
Pork and Sweet Potato Filling:
1 1/2 cup baked sweet potato flesh
1 cup leftover pork, chopped (I used the pork rib roast from the pork and pepper jack stuffed peppers)
1/3 cup black beans, drained and rinsed
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 very hot pepper, such as a habanero, minced
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
1 tbs. paprika
1 tbs. soy sauce
Mix together all ingredients.
Assembled Pork and Sweet Potato Empanadas:
Makes about 6-8 empanadas
Empanada dough, see above
Pork and sweet potato filling, see above
2 tbs. olive oil
Non-stick cooking spray
Preheat oven to 400º
When making empanadas, work with a floured surface and rolling pin. Roll out dough and, using cookie cutter (or, if you’re like me and don’t have them, a round bowl 6″ in diameter), cut into circles.
Place a heaping tbs. of filling (see above) in the center of the empanada dough. Brush edges with water and fold in half to form a half moon.
Crimp edges on both sides with a fork.
Spray a casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray. Add empanadas. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt.
Bake about 35 minutes or until golden brown.