Empanadas al Horno (Chilean Turnovers or Meat Pies)
I should be making soups.
It is a nippy 23-27 degrees cold here. Can you believe I am still getting up at 6am for my morning workouts? Yes, since it has started getting busy in the evenings I need my morning workouts most of all.
You know what I have not been able to do? Green Smoothies have fallen short in my kitchen. I have all the good intention of making them but then I think of something warm going down so I make a regular breakfast. Ryan enjoys oatmeal and I have my protein breakfast with tofu scrambles or omelettes, I just need to make sure to add sauteed veggies.
I notice that one of the hardest things to do during the winter is to eat well. Even though I have produce at home, baking and cooking my normal fare has not been as consistent. I look forward to January where the pace has calmed down a bit.
How are you doing eating healthy during the winter evenings?
Last night I spent making pumpkin sauce / butter from leftover pumpkins so that I could give them as Christmas gifts. Yes, how much more time do I have? Not much. I knew for a fact that baking cookies this year was going to be out of the question but I at least wanted to get something done.
It was wonderful smelling the blend of pumpkin with brown sugar, cinnamon, cloves, oranges, and more wafting through the house. I went to bed happy. In fact I think the smell lulled me to sleep. :-)
One of my favorite meals I used to eat at my Chilean grandmother's home were Empanadas, or otherwise known as savory meat pies. These were such a special meal served and was usually prepared during the holidays or for special occasions. This is similar to the Mexican tradition when dealing with tamales.
Empanadas are usually the ideal comfort food. It is a flaky buttery crust with a savory and delicious filling. It is ideal Latin comfort food.
Come join the fun at the My Baking Addiction and GoodLife Eats Holiday Recipe Swap sponsored by Le Creuset
I know now that you are reading MEAT pies, but I had been saving a package of Upton's Naturals Ground Beef-style Seitan just for a special occasion. I felt that I had a chance to create a Chilean specialty into a vegan delicacy. I think that my grandmother would be slapping me on the side of the head just knowing I do not eat anymore, but she would be happy that I created something so close to what she used to make.
The key to the flavors for this Chilean empanadas is the pino, which is a seasoned filling with added fillings like raisins, hard-boiled eggs and black olives. What an interesting combination but SO delicious!
Another important factor is the dough. The dough has to be flaky, becasue with each bite you have a perfectly baked crust with some seasoned seitan and raisins and black olives. Obviously I was going to have to leave out the hard-boiled eggs, but I knew that the lack of the eggs would not alter the flavors of the empanadas.
Ryan thought the flake crust was perfect and the filling flavorful. The recipe is a keeper and it will be something I will pass onto our future kids.
What recipes were made often by your mother or grandmother but NEVER taught to you? Have you recreated it?
Empanadas al Horno
veganized and adapted from The South American Table
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup Earth Balance, cut in pieces
1/4 cup all-vegetable shortening (Spectrum)
3/4 cup warm almond milk (or non-dairy milk)
In a food processor, put the flour, salt, and baking powder and with a fitted steel blade pulse for 5 seconds.
Add the shortening and Earth Balance and process ntil the mixture looks like coarse meal, about 15 seconds.
While the machine is running, pour the milk through the feed tube in a steady stream and process until the dough almost comes together into a ball. Remove from bowl and knewad a few times and let rest for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare pino or the seitan filling.
Roll dough into a long log and cut dough into 10-12 pieces.
8 ounce package Upton's Nautrals Ground Beef-style Seitan
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 onions, chopped (about 2 cups)
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
3/4 cup vegetable broth
1 Tablespoon arrowroot powder
12 pitted black olives
1/4 cup seedless black raisin, soaked for 5 minutes and drained
Heat olive oil in a medium frying pan and saute' onions for 5-7 minutes until transparent. Add seitan and garlic and cook for 5 more minutes. add seasonings and cook for 3 more minutes. Add vegetable broth and simmer until liquid almost evaporates (5 minutes). Add arrowroot powder to seitan mixture and cook until mixture thickens.
Take one piece of dough and roll into a 6-inch circle. Add 1-1 1/2 Tablespoons of seitan filling. Add a few raisins and one black olive.
Take one side of the dough and bring to the front side of dough to enclose the filling sealing the ends and folding the excess dough and sealing upwards.
Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Repeat with the rest of the dough.
"Egg" wash over the empanadas. 1 Tbsp arrowroot powder w/ 2 Tablespoons water. Mix well and brush over the tops of each empanada.
Bake for 20 minutes and remove from oven and turn each empanada over and baking on the opposite side for 5 minutes. This is will brown the tops a little.
Eat slightly warm and serve with Pebre or my grandma's secret chimichurri sauce. Enjoy!!