Friday, November 30, 2012

Spicy Black Bean Empanadas

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Who's in the Christmas spirit yet? Anybody? Personally, I was listening to the Christmas radio station as soon as it started playing in early November. I also decorated immediately after we were done with our Thanksgiving celebrations. No need to wait.
Empanadas are a great appetizer idea since they are a fun little finger food and they are packed with flavor. Using puff pastry really speeds up the process as well. I enjoyed these plain, but some sour cream, guacamole or even salsa would be great on the side. Enjoy!

  • 2 packages (4 sheets) puff pastry, thawed
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp. water
  • 1/2 lb. ground pork
  • 1 small red pepper, diced (about 2/3 cup)
  • 4 medium green onions, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 tsp. garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups reduced-fat Cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 can (15 oz.) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 1 cup light sour cream (optional)
  • 1 cup guacamole (optional)
Heat the oven to 375 degrees F. Beat the egg and water in a small bowl with a fork or whisk.

Cook the pork in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until it's well browned, stirring often to separate meat. Stir in the diced red pepper, onions and garlic and cook until tender. Stir in the tomato sauce, cumin, chili powder and crushed red pepper. Reduce the heat to low. Cook for 5 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat. Stir in the cheese, 1 cup beans and the cilantro. Let the mixture cool to room temperature.

Unfold 1 pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface. Roll the pastry sheet into a 16 x 12-inch rectangle. Cut into 10 (2 1/2-inch) circles. Repeat with the remaining pastry sheets, making 40 in all.

Spoon 1 teaspoon pork mixture on half of each pastry circle. Brush the edges of the pastry with water. Fold the pastry over the filling and crimp with a fork to seal. Place the filled pastries onto baking sheets. Brush the pastries with the egg mixture.

Bake for 15 minutes or until the pastries are golden brown. Remove the pastries from the baking sheets and let cool on wire racks for 10 minutes. Serve the pastries with the sour cream, guacamole and remaining beans.

Tip: To make ahead, place the unbaked empañadas onto a baking sheet. Cover and freeze until firm. Remove the frozen empañadas from the baking sheet and store in a gallon size resealable plastic bag in the freezer for up to 1 month. Bake the frozen empañadas as directed above.

Source: Pepperidge Farm

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