By Kelly DiNardo
As we pay greater attention to where our food comes from, our health and the health of what we’re consuming, even the most carnivorous eaters are taking a break from meat – at least occasionally. Of course, it can be challenging to follow Meatless Monday, the international campaign to eat vegetarian on Mondays, without making it Carb-Lovers’ Monday. So we’ve turned to area chefs for a little inspiration. Today, Bandolero dishes up empanadas with roasted poblano peppers.
Empanada with Roasted Poblano Peppers, Corn, Jack Cheese
- 2 poblano peppers; lightly oiled with extra virgin olive oil and seasoned with salt
- 3 tablespoons canola oil
- ¼ cup minced garlic
- ½ cup small diced yellow onion
- 1 ½ cup fresh sweet corn
- 1 cup Monterey jack cheese
- ½ cup sour cream
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- empanada dough (recipe to follow)
- 6 cups canola oil for frying
- Preheat the oven broiler on high.
- Arrange the poblano peppers on a baking sheet and place under your broiler.
- Broil for 5-6 minutes on all sides. This will take approximately 20-25 minutes. The skins will become charred and the flesh soft.
- Remove the baking sheet from the oven. Place the peppers in a glass bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Set aside for 20 minutes to cool.
- Once cooled, remove from the bowl and cut in half. Peel the skin off and remove the ribs and seeds. Dice into ¼ inch pieces and set aside.
- Heat the canola oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Sweat the onions for 4-5 minutes or until soft and translucent. Add the garlic and sweat for 1-2 minutes longer. Then add the corn and cook for 3-4 minutes stirring often. If color begins to form add a small amount of water to prevent burning.
- Remove from heat and add to a large mixing bowl. Add in the peppers, jack cheese, sour cream, cilantro, cumin and salt. Stir well to combine all ingredients. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- Divide empanada dough into 6 even portions. On a lightly floured surface; roll out into ¼ inch thick circles.
- On one half of each circle, evenly distribute the cheese mixture. Make sure to leave ¼ inch around the edge for sealing.
- Fold over each empanada creating half circles. Starting at one end, seal the edges by pressing with a fork so no filling will spill out. Refrigerate uncovered for 20 minutes to allow them to set up.
- Heat the canola oil for frying in an electric deep fryer to 350ᵒ. If you do not have an electric fryer, use a heavy bottom pot and a candy thermometer to keep track of the oils temperature. Make sure to keep track of the temperature as it will drop in between frying.
- Once oil is to temperature, gently add each empanada one at a time. You may need to fry in batches depending on the size of your fryer. Fry for 4-5 minutes or until golden brown on both sides. Remove from oil and drain on a paper towel.
- Transfer to a serving platter or individual plates and serve immediately
- 100 grams warm water
- 30 grams white granulated sugar
- 1.5 grams kosher salt
- 250 grams all purpose flour
- 120 grams unsalted butter; chilled and cut into ½ inch cubes
- Combine water, sugar and salt in a small bowl. Stir until all dissolved then place in the freezer for 8-10 minutes or until just chilled.
- Add the flour and butter to a food processor fitted with the dough blade. Turn on the food processor and blend for approximately 30-40 seconds or until a course crumble forms.
- Keeping the food processor on, add the water a tablespoon at a time. The ingredients will start to pull away from the sides of the processor and a dough ball will begin to form. This will take approximately 30 seconds – 1 minute.
- Remove the dough and form into a ball. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes.