Even without using an ounce of flour, you can still make savory, filling empanadas that really hit the spot. Chef Susan Feniger's no-dough empanadas have been on the menu at her Border Grill restaurant for about 20 years -- now you can make these gluten-free delights in the comfort of your own home.
Border Grill's Plantain Empanadas
Serves 6 to 8
3 ripe plantains (keep peeled)
1 ripe banana, peeled
1 tsp. salt
1/4 c. peanut oil
1 c. Chipotle Crema for garnish (recipe here)
Crème fraiche or sour cream (optional)
1 small poblano chile, roasted, peeled and seeded
1 c. cold refried black beans
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1/4 c. cotija, Romano or feta cheese, grated
1/4 c. manchego or Monterey Jack cheese, grated
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut a lengthwise slit into each plantain and set on a baking sheet. Bake until the flesh is thoroughly soft and oozing through the slit, 40 to 50 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, make the stuffing: Finely dice the poblano chile. Combine with the remaining stuffing ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir to combine.
Make the dough in a food processor or in a mixer with a paddle attachment: Scoop the cooked, cooled plantain out of its peel and put in a food processor. Add the banana and salt, and pulse until smooth. (Be careful not to overwork the dough, or it will become too starchy.) Wrap in plastic and chill about 2 hours.
Assemble the empanadas: Roll 2 tablespoons of the dough lightly between your palms to form a ball. Using your hand and the counter (or a tortilla press), flatten the dough, with a sheet of plastic above and below it to prevent sticking. You should end up with a 3 1/2 inch circle.
Next, place about 1 teaspoon of the bean stuffing on half of the dough circle and fold over to enclose, pressing the edges to seal.
Cook the empanadas: Heat the peanut oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Fry 4 to 6 empanadas at a time, shaking the pan constantly, about 1 minute per side or until dark brown all over. (If they darken too quickly, as they may if very ripe plantains were used, lower the flame slightly.) Drain on paper towels.
Serve hot, topped with Chipotle Crema as well as a drizzle of crème fraiche or sour cream.
Pairs well with: Healthy Chia Seed Horchata