If you have made the filling in advance, these satisfying empanadas can be ready in as little as an hour. Or if you're in a hurry, use store-bought vegan pizza dough.
The recipe calls for vital wheat gluten, which adds protein and improves the texture and elasticity of the empanada dough.
If desired, serve with a dressing or dipping mixture of Vegenaise (egg-free mayonnaise), lime juice and cilantro.
Make Ahead: The fillling can be made a day or two in advance; refrigerate in an airtight container until ready to use.
Servings: 8 empanadas
- For the filling
- 2 vegan bouillon cubes (about two-thirds of an ounce total), preferably Not Chik'n brand (may substitute hot vegan chicken broth)
- 1 1/2 cups boiling water
- 1 1/2 cups textured vegetable protein
- 1 or 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
- 1/2 large onion, cut into small dice (3/4 to 1 cup)
- 1 medium jalapeño pepper, stemmed, seeded and minced
- 2 big pinches crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup almonds, toasted and crushed (see NOTE)
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- Freshly ground black pepper
- For the dough
- 2 1/2 cups bread flour, plus more for the work surface
- 1 tablespoon vital wheat gluten (see headnote)
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar, preferably turbinado
- 1 tablespoon active dry yeast (do not use rapid-rise yeast)
- 1 1/4 cups hot tap water
For the filling: Place the bouillon cubes in a medium bowl, then pour the boiling water over them, stirring until they have dissolved. Stir in the textured vegetable protein. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for a few minutes.
Heat just enough of the oil to coat the bottom of a large saute pan, over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for about 8 minutes, stirring once or twice, until the onion is tender and just starting to brown. Add the jalapeno, crushed red pepper flakes, if desired, the well-soaked textured vegetable protein and any remaining liquid that it did not absorb, then stir in the tomato paste, raisins, almonds, cumin, coriander and garlic powder. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from the heat.
The filling can be used right away or covered and refrigerated for a day or two.
For the dough: Combine the bread flour, vital wheat gluten, salt, sugar and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook; beat on low speed to incorporate, then add the hot tap water. Beat on low speed to form a soft dough, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Then increase the speed to medium and beat (knead) for 15 minutes.
Lightly flour a work surface. Turn the dough out onto the floured work surface. Let it rest for 10 minutes, then give a quarter-turn to the dough as you fold half of it over, pushing down with the heel of your hand. Repeat the process 3 times. Cut the dough into 8 pieces of equal size. Use your hands to stretch each one into a 6- or 7-inch round.
To assemble: Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone liner.
Place about 1/2 cup of the filling at the center of each dough round. Fold over one side to create a kind of turnover; pinch or decoratively fold around the edges to seal the empanadas tight. Place on the baking sheet and bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until they are golden brown.
Serve warm or at room temperature.
NOTE: Toast the almonds in a heavy, dry skillet (preferably cast-iron) over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, for 2 to 3 minutes, until they are lightly browned and begin to smell toasty. Watch carefully, as nuts can burn quickly. Transfer to a dish to cool before crushing.
From chef Michael Kiss, cooking coach at the Whole Foods Market in Rockville.
Tested by Nicole Schofer.
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