Three Sisters Empanadas make for insanely tasty snacking on the go but are just as satisfying to sit down to for a simple dinner
If you're not familiar with the blend, according to Iroquois legend, beans, corn and squash literally supported one another in the growth chain. Native American farming communities would plant corn, beans and squash next to one another because in doing so, they'd need less tending. Beans need no pole if instead they can send their vines up a stalk of corn, for instance. For that reason, corn, beans and squash are still known as "The Three Sisters" and are used together frequently by home cooks and in restaurant kitchens because of their vibrant colors and complete protein. And, frankly, because they just taste great.
This recipe for empanadas is a new favorite for a few reasons. The dough is delicious and flaky, and is made with half whole-wheat flour. With the recipe for this dough in your back pocket, you can venture off into your own empanada creations!
The second reason I love these empanadas is because they freeze beautifully. And it's always nice to have a few options for quick lunches or dinners that you can just pull out of the freezer. To do just that, you can double the dough recipe and throw a ball of dough in the freezer, pulling it out to thaw in the refrigerator overnight if you know you'd like to whip up a batch the next day. Or, even better -- in my humble opinion -- is to double this empanada recipe altogether and freeze a batch to bake when you have a particularly harried weeknight.
THREE SISTERS EMPANADAS
MAKES: 10 empanadas
For the dough:
For the filling:
For the egg wash:
In a separate small bowl, whisk together egg and water. Pour over dry ingredients and mix with a fork until dough begins to come together. If still shaggy, add additional water to help the dough come together, 1 tablespoon at a time. Dump out onto a well-floured surface. Knead dough a few times and carefully gather together into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to chill for one hour.
To make the filling, first preheat the oven to 400 F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
Spread the diced zucchini and corn on the baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and a few grinds of salt and black pepper. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the zucchini are softened and slightly browned around the edges.
Transfer to a bowl. Fold in the black beans, cheese, green onions, cilantro, chilies, cumin and chili powder.
In a small bowl, prepare the egg wash by mixing together the beaten egg and water.
To assemble the empanadas, divide the dough into 10 equal portions (about 55 grams each). Shape each portion into a ball and roll into a 5- to 6-inch circle about 1/8-inch thick on a cool, lightly floured surface. Working one at a time, place 1/3 cup filling into the center of the circle. Moisten the edges with the egg wash. Fold one edge over the top of the filling to create a half-moon shape and crimp the edges to seal.
Place the empanada on a parchment-lined baking sheet, brush tops with egg wash, and repeat with remaining dough. Slice a few small slits in the center of each empanada to help release steam while baking.
Bake at 400 F for 22 to 30 minutes or until lightly browned. Serve with sour cream and salsa along with a garnish of cilantro, if desired.
Freezing Empanadas: You can easily freeze these empanadas, either baked or unbaked, to enjoy later on a busy weeknight. To do so, wrap the empanadas well in aluminum foil and label. To bake the empanadas, preheat the oven to 400 F and bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown and hot all the way through. Cooking time is roughly the same to warm previously baked empanadas or to fully cook the unbaked empanadas. Do not thaw the empanadas before baking -- simply toss them in the oven frozen.
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To comment, please click here.
Interested in a private Judaic studies instructor for free? Let us know by clicking here.
(Dana Velden is a writer for TheKitchn.com, a nationally known blog for people who love food and home cooking. Submit any comments or questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org.)