There’s been some major crankypants happening in the pigpen lately. Maybe it has something to do with the post-vacation blues (kind of a real thing) or the post-vacation head-turned-chest cold (definitely a real thing), but I have been whhhhhyyyyyy-KNEE. Things like emptying bags of Trader Joe’s brand Funyuns into my face seem to be helping marginally, although I refuse to call them by their given name, Snack-O’s, which has got to be the most generic name for a generic snack food I have ever heard. If it weren’t that the snack is actually O-shaped, the lameness of this name might be enough to prevent me from buying them alltogether. I mean, helloooo, Fun-yOHs! OnYUMs! YUMyuns! Did none of these far more obvious yet superiorly radder names cross Hipster JoBro’s mind when ripping off the Funyun? I guess not.
And now, even though I was originally just detouring through this whole tangent
until I could find something valuable to talk about while you looked at pictures of hand pies, I’m actually kind of worked up about it.
Kind of seriously worked up about it, actually.
Totally, seriously, actually worked up about it, to tell you the truth.
There’s very little escaping this thread of thought, so I’m just going to have to leap to…
(Huuf. That was athletic.)
I love empanadas. Is it the pie crust? Yes.
Is it the deeply savory filling? Yes.
Is it saying the name empanadas? Yes.
Love, love, love.
I originally intended to make these guys in advance and reheat them for Meatless Monday, but then, whoops, we ate them on Sunday, fresh outs tha oven. No regrets, people. Thug life and all that, too.
Maybe it’s because I’m sick, maybe it’s because anything wrapped in pie crust just lights my fire, but these guys have me so smitten. So much bold flavor, so little work.
And aren’t they just a prize to look at? Even that little runty one at the top (yes, the one that I dropped while adjusting it on the tray to make it just so — lesson learned) is kinda purty in a lumpy, rustic way, doncha think?
Too. Freaking. Sweet.
Except not too sweet, because they’re savory, and just a little spicy, and bathed in a mayo wash, if you can believe it, which is my new favorite finishing touch for savory pies. And vegetarian, yay, because amminals are our buddies an increasing amount of days of the week.
Lastly, not sure if you’ve heard but hand pies are, like, suuuuuuuuuuper trendy with the pinstacrowd these days, probably because they’re adorbs, and also because you could technically make, like, seven different kinds and have a hand pie party replete with pie dough slap bracelets and hand pie mad libs, like:
“Milly went into the [room] to [verb] a [adjective] pie, but when she got there, her [fruit] had been [crime, past-tense], so she went to the [event] empty-[body part]ed.”
Mine came out dirty. Big surprise.
Spicy Soyrizo & Black Bean Empanadas
By Emily Stoffel
Cook time: 1 hour | Makes about 8-10
Note: I used a lovely, fresh batch of homemade pie dough that my mom gifted me with after deeming her peaches “too pithy” to make a pie. (Heh.) Thawed, frozen pie dough will also work just fine. Leftover filling? Roll it up in tortillas, secure with a toothpick and give ‘em a quick shallow fry. Ta-da, taquitos!
- 1 T coconut oil
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp good curry powder (we always use Penzey’s Vindaloo variety)
- 1 med sweet potato, peeled and finely diced
- 1 can black beans, lightly drained
- 6 ounces mexican soyrizo (or chorizo), casing removed
- 1/2 cup dry marsala or sherry wine
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan
- 1 recipe double pie crust (or two frozen pie crusts, thawed)
- 1 T good mayo, thinned with just a splash of water
- sour cream, salsa and cilantro for serving (optional)
Preheat oven to 375F.
Heat coconut oil over a medium-high flame and add garlic and spices. Saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add sweet potato, black beans, chorizo and wine and stir to combine. Cover and simmer about 10 minutes or until liquid is mostly absorbed and potatoes are tender. Turn off heat and stir through cheese. Allow mixture to cool slightly.
Meanwhile, roll out dough and cut out 5″-6″ rounds, re-rolling/cutting scraps as necessary, until you have about 8 to 10 rounds. Place a generously heaping tablespoon of filling on half of the round, leaving about a 1/2″ border. Brush the exposed edge of dough lightly with water, then fold top half over, pressing lightly to seal. Crimp edges firmly with a fork. Brush with mayo. Cut a few slits in the dough so steam can escape.
Arrange empanadas on an ungreased baking sheet and bake in preheated oven for 30-40 minutes or until deeply golden, rotating pan halfway through cooking. Serve with sour cream, cilantro and salsa, if desired.