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Corn and Mushroom Empanadas

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  • Makes 24 to 30 empanadas

The following recipe is a sneak peek from our new cookbook, Forks Over Knives: Flavor! Find more exclusive recipes from the recently released book here.

Empanadas are single-serving pastries that can be filled with sweet or savory ingredients. They are made in many parts of the world, but they are especially identified with Argentina. Empanadas are traditionally fried, but these are baked. The combination of potato flour and whole-wheat flour gives the pastry a light, crisp texture. I serve the empanadas with Chimichurri, a traditional Argentinian herb-based condiment. Empanadas are labor-intensive, but you can prepare the dough and filling, and even assemble them, a day in advance. Then all you’ll have to do is bake them just before serving. If you can’t find potato flour, use 1½ cups mashed, cooked russet potatoes (about 1½ pounds) instead.

Ingredients

Dough
  • ½ cup raw cashews
  • 1 cup potato flour
  • ½ cup whole-wheat flour
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • Unbleached all-purpose (or whole-wheat) flour for dusting
Filling
  • ½ pound white mushrooms, trimmed and roughly chopped (3 cups)
  • 1 small yellow onion, cut into ¼-inch dice
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
  • 2 tablespoons white miso paste
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black or white pepper
  • 3 cups chopped fresh spinach
  • Sea salt
  • 1 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon flaxseed meal (brown or golden)

Instructions

  1. To make dough, soak cashews in ½ cup hot water for 20 minutes. Transfer cashews and soaking liquid to a blender or food processor; blend until creamy.
  2. In a food processor fitted with a dough blade or a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine cashew “cream”, potato flour, whole-wheat flour, salt, and 1½ cups water; mix to a smooth dough, adding water if needed to make the dough come together.
  3. Using a spatula, scoop the dough into a large bowl; let it stand for 10 to 15 minutes.
  4. To make filling, in a large sauté pan, combine mushrooms, onion, jalapeño, and garlic; sauté over medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onion are translucent and the water from the mushrooms has cooked off. Add corn, miso, cumin, cayenne, and pepper; cook 5 minutes more.
  5. Add spinach and cook for 2 minutes, or until spinach is wilted. Add salt to taste. Transfer filling to a large bowl to cool for 5 minutes. Stir in cilantro.
  6. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  7. In a small saucepan, combine flaxseeds and ½ cup water. Bring to a boil and simmer until mixture gels, about 2 minutes. Strain out the seeds and preserve the gel.
  8. Prepare a station to roll out the dough. You'll need a large cutting board or other clean, flat surface, a rolling pin, a pastry brush, a bowl of all-purpose flour for dusting, and the bowl of flaxseed gel.
  9. Lightly dust the work surface with flour. Transfer dough onto the floured surface and knead until smooth.
  10. Scoop 1 generous tablespoon of dough and roll it into a ball. Repeat with remaining dough until you have 24 to 30 balls.
  11. Re-dust work surface and rolling pin with flour. Roll a dough ball in flour, and use the rolling pin to flatten it into a 4-inch disk, dusting with more flour as needed. Repeat until you have six disks, and place them on one of the prepared baking sheets.
  12. Spoon 2 tablespoons of filling onto the middle of each disk. Fold the dough in half, press the edges together to seal, and crimp edges using your fingers or the tines of a fork. (Dust fingers or fork with flour if the dough is too sticky.) Transfer the empanadas to the second prepared baking sheet.
  13. Repeat steps 10–12 to form remaining empanadas, then divide them evenly between the two baking sheets. Brush each empanada with flaxseed gel. Bake 25 minutes.
  14. Remove the trays from the oven and increase the heat to 400°F. Flip the empanadas using a thin spatula and brush with flaxseed gel. Return empanadas to oven, rotating baking sheets from front to back and top to bottom racks for even baking. Bake 10 minutes, until the tops are golden brown.
  15. Let empanadas cool for 5 to 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature with the Chimichurri for dipping.
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about the author

Darshana Thacker

Darshana Thacker is chef and culinary project manager for Forks Over Knives. A graduate of the Natural Gourmet Institute, she is the author of Forks Over Knives: Flavor! She created the recipes for Forks Over Knives Family and was a lead recipe contributor to the New York Times bestseller The Forks Over Knives Plan. Her recipes have been published in The Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Cookbook, Forks Over Knives—The Cookbook, Forks Over Knives: The Plant-Based Way to Health, and LA Yoga magazine online. Visit DarshanasKitchen.com for more.

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