Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Sunday Dinner, April 18, 2010: Welcome Back Sunshine , Plus Gluten Free Empanada Recipe

I am warm again. From the sun/ski burn on Isaiah's face you would never believe that I missed the sunshine, but the last few days I have been basking in almost summer. There is something about sunshine that says full aromatic flavors, and since my boys think that they are either Mexican or Indian, culinarily speaking, Mexican it was. The meal balanced earthy flavors of chilis with sweet overtones from pineapple, orange, beets and guava. A nice welcome back to Bay Area blue skies.

Course 1
Rancho Gordo Vaquero Beans
Smokey Roasted Cauliflower and Piquillo Peppers

Course 2
Chipotle Tomato Veal Empanada
Red Beet, Navel Orange and Haas Avocado Salsa
Coconut Risotto with Grilled Pineapple
Banana Gelee with Ceylon Cinnamon, Pickled Green Garlic, Guava Orange Reduction

Gluten Free Empanada Dough
Makes 12 mini empanadas

  • 1/4 cup cornmeal
  • 1/3 cup millet flour
  • 1/4 cup corn starch
  • 3 T tapioca starch
  • 1 1/2 t sugar
  • 1 t kosher salt
  • 1/4 t xanthan gum
  • 2 T very cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 2 T shortening (I used Spectrum)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 t vinegar
  • 2 T very cold water, plus more as necessary
  • 1 egg lightly beaten (optional)
  1. Mix together cornmeal, flour, starches, xanthan gum, salt and sugar. 
  2. Cut in butter and shortening, either with 2 forks, a pastry cutter or food processor, until fat pieces are pea sized and smaller.
  3. Whisk egg, vinegar, 2 T water together.
  4. Add liquid mixture to flour/fat mix until moistened. It should hold together without crumbling, but not be sticky. Add more liquid 1-2 t at a time if necessary. 
  5. Form into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill for at least one hour or up to 2 days. 
  6. When ready to make empanadas, preheat oven to 425. 
  7. Roll dough out on lightly floured surface to 1/8 inch thickness. 
  8. Cut into 3-4 inch rounds and chill for 5-15 minutes. Scraps can be re-rolled once without the texture suffering too much - hey enjoy the GF dough, no gluten to overwork! 
  9. Fill each circle with 1 t of filling of your choice (easy options, beans sweet potatoes and chipotle salsa, rotisserie chicken with salsa verde, cheese, sauteed ripe plantains). Fold over and crimp edges with fork. Alternatively, place 1 T of filling on one circle, top with another, and seal edges.  Poke a couple of holes with a fork to allow air to escape.
  10. If using egg wash, brush the top with egg wash. 
  11. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown on a silpat or parchment lined baking sheet. 
  12. Alternatively, you can go all out and fry in 1 inch of oil instead, but we baked them. 

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