Empanadas are a popular South American snack food. Chef Rosa shares her version from Venezuela, called an Empanada Domino for its tasty filling of black beans and white cheese. These deep fried treats can be enjoyed as appetizers; make them larger for a more substantial meal.
Makes 8 large 5-inch or 16 small 3-inch empanadas
For the filling
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
5 garlic cloves, minced
3 aji dulces (sweet peppers) finely minced OR ½ red pepper, diced
1 tablespoon cumin
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
Salt and sugar to taste
1 cup ricotta salata, shredded or crumbled (Cubed mozzarella or feta may be substituted.)
- In a medium frying pan over medium heat, add oil and onions. Cook until onions are translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic, peppers and cumin. Cook for approximately 2 minutes.
- Add the drained, rinsed beans and stock. Cook until softened and liquid has mostly reduced, about 5 minutes. The bean mixture should be moist, but not soupy. Season mixture with salt and sugar. Let mixture cool.
- Reserve cheese for assembly.
For the Dough
2 cups white precooked corn flour (P.A.N. brand)
2 ½ cups warm water
¾ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon brown sugar
Place the water in a bowl. Add the salt and sugar. Stir to dissolve. Add the flour little by little, mixing well. Knead until smooth, about 5 minutes. Cover with a damp cloth towel as the dough dries out quickly.
Assemble the Empanadas
- Place one ball of dough between two pieces of plastic wrap or split large freezer bag. Flatten the dough until it is 0.25" thick, and circular in shape.
- Remove the top piece of plastic wrap. Place 2 tablespoons of black bean and cheese below the center of the circle.
- Seal the empanada by folding the top over the filling and pressing down the edges with your fingers. Use an empty bowl to cut the excess dough to make a perfect half moon shape. Carefully remove the empanada from the plastic wrap.
- Fry at 375 until golden, about 4-5 minutes per side. Time will depend on size of empanada. Serve and enjoy!