There have been some big changes to the Secret Recipe Club this month. In the 5 months of it’s existence, the blog group has grown enough that we are now divided into 3 segments – one managed by Amanda of Amanda’s Cooking, one by Tina of Mom’s Crazy Cooking, and one by Angela of Big Bear’s Wife. The group is really fun. Who doesn’t love getting to check out a new blog, new recipes, and having some air time for their own blog 🙂 Not only that, but Amanda has rolled out a great blog page for the group featuring recipes from each of the members. Sweet!
My blog assignment for this month was A Bountiful Kitchen. One of the things that I loved about her blog was the surplus of Mexican-themed recipes on her blog. We love Mexican and Southwest flavors here, so I had a really hard time choosing amongst her recipes. I kid you not, I have no less than 3 more enchilada recipes and a salsa recipe bookmarked to make at a future date. Of course, Mexican foods aren’t all you’ll find… I have frosted sugar cookie bars and a great lasagna bookmarked too 🙂
In the end, I choose these empanadas because they are something different from what we normally make. While they were new to me, I found the recipe quite easy. It is basically cooking the meat filling and folding it into purchased puff pastry (I suppose you could make your own, but I’m not quite that confident). I followed her recipe almost to a ‘T’ except that I added about a teaspoon of adobe sauce and a de-seeded chipotle pepper to the sour cream mixture to give it a little bit more kick.
So how were they? Pretty awesome! I wouldn’t change a thing. We ate them for dinner, but I am sure they’d make a great addition to an appetizer spread for a party too. We also made the fresh, but I am thinking they would freeze pretty well to make a quick meal. Maybe freeze them just after assembly, but before baking? Then you could probably bake them right out of the freezer, just adding a couple of minutes. Either way, be sure to stop by A Bountiful Kitchen. I know I’ll be making more recipes from there!
Beef Empanadas with Black Bean Dipping Sauce
From A Bountiful Kitchen (Originally adapted from Bon Appetit)
1/2 lb. ground beef
1/2 cup red onion, chopped
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 Tbsp. tomato paste
1 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 (17.3 oz) pkg. frozen puff pastry (2 sheets), thawed
2 large egg yolks, beaten for glaze
1/2 can (15 oz can) black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup light sour cream
1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, seeded
1 tsp. adobo sauce
1 Roma tomato, seeded, chopped, divided
1 large green onion, sliced, divided
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add beef, chopped onion, and garlic; cook, stirring often and breaking into pieces with a wooden spoon until beef is cooked through, about 3-5 minutes. Add tomato paste, cumin, and cayenne. Reduce heat to medium; cook, stirring often, to let flavors meld, about 4 minutes. Add cilantro; season to taste with salt and pepper. Let filling cool to room temperature.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper (optional – I have baking stones, so I skipped this step). Cut each pastry sheet into 4 equal squares for a total of 8 squares. Lightly brush the edges of each square with the yolk glaze. Spoon filling into the center of each, dividing equally. Fold edges over, forming triangles. Dip the tines of a fork into flour and crimp the edges of each triangle to seal. Divide triangles between baking sheets. Brush the tops with glaze. (Assembled empanadas can be prepared up to 6 hours prior. Cover and chill.) Bake until tops are puffed and golden, about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, puree the beans, sour cream, pepper, and adobo sauce in a blender until smooth. Transfer to a medium bowl. Mix in half the tomato and half the green onion. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle remaining tomato and green onion over the top. Serve with the baked empanadas.