A melt-in-your-mouth crust that you can make ahead of time means empanadas any time you want them.

flaky banana and black bean empanadas

Flaky Banana and Black Bean Empanadas
A melt-in-your-mouth crust that you can make ahead of time means empanadas any time you want them.
For the dough:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (plus more as needed)
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup nonhydrogenated vegan shortening, cold, not room temperature (I use Earth Balance) and cut into cubes
  • ½ cup plant-based milk (I use almond milk)
For the filling:
  • 2 tablespoons white wine or cooking wine (this adds flavor and keeps ingredients from sticking while avoiding excessive oil; if you don't have wine, you can use water)
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil (or avoid oil altogether by adding more water or white wine to keep ingredients from sticking)
  • 1½ cups yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups banana, diced
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon coriander
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon salt (to taste)
  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
For the dough:
  1. In a large bowl, combine 2 cups of flour and salt.
  2. Add the shortening cubes to the flour mixture, cutting it in until the dough is crumbly. You can do this with two knives or with your fingertips.
  3. Add the plant-based milk, and with a wooden spoon, gently mix everything together. If necessary, you may add another tablespoon or so of flour -- just enough so that you can form the dough into a ball that's not overly sticky and wet.
  4. With your hands, gather the dough into a ball and knead gently several times so that it holds together.
  5. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes (see Notes). While the dough is chilling, you can make the empanada filling.
For the filling:
  1. Heat white wine or cooking wine and oil (if using) in a large skillet, then add onions. Saute for 4 to 5 minutes, or until soft and translucent.
  2. Add beans and garlic, reduce heat to medium, and cook for about 3 minutes.
  3. Gently stir in bananas, cayenne pepper, coriander, and ½ teaspoon salt and cook 2 to 3 more minutes. You want the bananas to soften and the spices to become fragrant. Taste mixture and add the additional ½ teaspoon salt (or add to taste) if needed.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in cilantro.
For the empanadas
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Remove dough from refrigerator and divide in half. Re-wrap one half with plastic wrap and return it to the refrigerator.
  3. With a knife, divide the half of the dough ball you're working with into 8 equal pieces.
  4. Quickly roll one of the dough pieces into a ball with your hands. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the ball to a 4½ to 5-inch round. (Be sure your surface and your rolling pin stay lightly floured so the dough doesn't stick; I keep the flour next to me to add a small pinch as I need it.)
  5. Fill the dough round with approximately 2 tablespoons of filling, and brush edges of dough round with water.
  6. Fold dough round in half, press to close, and crimp edges with a floured fork to seal (if your fork gets sticky, dip in flour after each crimp you make). If you're a perfectionist (I'm a perfectionist), use a fluted pastry wheel or sharp knife to cut excess dough from the crimped edge to create a more streamlined curve.
  7. Transfer to the parchment-paper-lined baking sheet and repeat with remaining 7 dough balls and filling. Transfer baking sheet of 8 empanadas to the refrigerator and repeat the whole process with the other half of the dough you have wrapped in the refrigerator.
  8. Chill both trays of empanadas on the baking sheets for at least 10 minutes before baking (they can be chilled overnight if you are making ahead of time, just be sure to cover them). Bake empanadas for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown.
  9. Cool 5 minutes on baking sheet before serving with sriracha, tabasco, or hot sauce of choice, and other favorites (think non-dairy sour cream, avocado slices, quinoa, brown rice, a green salad, etc.).
This dough will make 16 empanadas, and can be made ahead of time! If you're not using the dough immediately, divide in half, wrap each ball in plastic wrap, place in refrigerator, and use the following day. Alternatively, place dough in freezer bags and store in freezer until ready to use.


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