Gluten Free Empanadas

 

Empanadas

We took a trip to Puerto Rico this weekend in our kitchen with beef empanadas, beans and rice and a plantain puree.  The food was really delicious.  I was especially pleased with how well this gluten-free dough held together.  The dough is made with a little white wine, but don’t worry the alcohol cooks out before you make the dough.   I can see this dough recipe being used to make apple cinnamon empanadas in the future.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup dry white wine (e.g., Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay)
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons nonhydrogenated vegetable shortening
  • 2 cups high-quality all-purpose gluten-free flour
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons milk or cream (low-fat is fine, nonfat is not, nondairy substitute is fine)

Instructions

  1. In a medium saucepan, place the wine, water, butter and shortening and stir to combine. Heat over medium heat until the butter is melted and the mixture is simmering (about 3 to 4 minutes), stirring occasionally. Remove the saucepan from the heat, and dump in the flour and xanthan gum. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon until the mixture comes together (it will happen quickly). Add the milk/cream by the tablespoonful, and knead into the dough until it is smooth.
  2. Turn the dough out onto a smooth surface and knead until fairly smooth. Do NOT flour the kneading surface.
  3. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and allow it to rest at room temperature for an hour. This is an important step.
  4. After the dough has rested, roll until it is about ⅛-inch thick (the width of a nickel), and use a 3-inch biscuit cutter (or smaller or larger, if you prefer) to cut into rounds.

Notes

Bean flour blends are not true all-purpose gluten-free flours. Pamela’s baking mix and Pamela’s bread mix are not all-purpose gluten-free flours, nor were they meant to be. They have all sorts of additional ingredients, like baking powder, baking soda and sugar, and then yeast and sugar, respectively. Yes, you really do need the wine for flavor. It’s worth opening a bottle.

Fill with your favorite filling.  Our beef filling recipe is below.

Empanada Filling
1 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 pound ground beef
1/2 tablespoon garlic salt
1 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoons vinegar
1 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
Oil or shortening, for frying

Aioli Dip:
1/2 cup real mayonnaise, such as Kraft
1/2 tablespoon adobo sauce
Juice of 1/4 lime

For the empanada filling: In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add the ground beef and garlic salt and cook until the beef is cooked completely. Drain the grease and set the beef aside.

In the same pan, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add the tomato paste, vinegar, cumin, chili powder, oregano, seasoned salt, garlic, bell peppers and onions. Cook until softened, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the beef and let them love each other with fire over low heat for about 5 more minutes. The mixture should be moist but not dripping wet. Now you are ready to fill the empanadas.
Heat the oil in a deep fryer to 350 degrees F. Fry the empanadas until golden brown, 6 to 7 minutes.

For the aioli dip: Mix together the mayonnaise, adobo sauce and lime juice. (The flavor will enhance if it sits in the refrigerator.)

Advertisements

Mama Mia Meatball Lasagna

 

I decided to do a lasagna using veggies instead of noodles and then topping it with some savory meatballs.  The result was a yummy italian casserole and my kids didn’t even know there were veggies inside.  I also made some homemade ricotta to go inside which was fabulous!  I will share that recipe with you later.

Ingredients:

1 eggplant peeled and sliced into 1/4 inch slices

1 large zucchini sliced into 1/4 inch slices

salt and pepper

olive oil

2 c riccotta

1 c italian cheese, shredded

1lb mozzarella ball, shredded

1/4 c chopped italian parsley

1 jar of your favorite GF pasta sauce

14.5 oz can diced tomatoes

1 egg beaten

1/2 tsp granulated sugar

3 medium baking potatoes peeled and sliced into 1/8 inch slices

1/4 c chopped fresh rosemary and thyme

1/2 lb ground beef

1/2 lb ground pork

granulated garlic

1/4 grated parmesan cheese

2 sliced of GF bread (process into breadcrumbs using food processor)

Lay eggplant and zucchini slices on a kitchen towel and sprinkle with salt.  Let drain for 30 minutes.  Pat veggies dry and brush with olive oil and roast in 400F oven for 6-10 minutes until slightly golden.  Combine beef, pork, granulated garlic, salt, pepper, parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs in a large bowl.  Form into meatballs and then brown in a large stockpot with some 2 T olive oil.  Once all sides are browned remove meatballs to plate to drain on papertowel.  Combine pasta sauce, diced tomatoes, sugar and salt and pepper in saucepan.  Using hand blender puree until smooth and heat just until warm.  Combine ricotta with 1c of cheese, the mozzarella, parsley, egg, salt and pepper.  Mix to combine.  Lower oven to 400F and spread 1c of sauce in bottom of 9X12 baking dish.  Layer in eggplant and zucchini and then cover with some of ricotta mixture.  Layer with potatoes and then top with salt, pepper and half of the chopped herbs.  Repeat layers and then top with meatballs and some additional sauce.  Cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes.  Let cool for 15 minutes before serving.

Chocolate Strawberry Cupcakes

 

I watch the Food Network show Cupcake Wars every week and I’ve always wanted to tackle making one of those filled cupcakes with a super yummy light buttercream on top and this past weekend I did just that.  The result was a delicious chocolate cake stuffed with a strawberry compote and frosted with a strawberry buttercream.  It was heaven on a plate and it was all gluten-free

Cupcake Ingredients:

1 c Bob’s Red Mill GF all purpose flour

1 c granulated sugar

1/3 c unsweetened cocoa

1/2 tsp fine powdered instant espresso

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp xanthan gum

pinch of fine sea salt or kosher salt

1 stick of unsalted butter melted and slightly cooled

2 large eggs at room temperature

1/2 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp creme de cacao

1/2 c hot water

Preheat oven to 325F and line 12 cupcake tins with liners or spray cupcake pan with non-stick cooking spray.  In a stand mixer using a paddle attachment mix flour, sugar, cocoa, espresso, salt, xanthan gum and baking soda.  Add eggs, vanilla and creme de cacao to the melted butter and whisk with a fork.  Pour butter mixture into dry ingredients and mix for one minute.  Scrape down sides and pour in half of the hot water.  Mix for one minute and then pour in remaining water and mix again for one minute.  Fill cupcake tins about 2/3 full and then bake for 12 minutes.  Rotate pan and then bake for 8-10 minutes more (toothpick should come out clean).  Cool completely.

Strawberry Compote Ingredients:

1 c fresh strawberries, diced

4 T granulated sugar

1 T lemon juice

2 tsp cornstarch

Combine all ingredients in pan on the stove over medium high heat.  Bring to a boil and then boil for 3 minutes stirring constantly.  Remove from heat and let cool and then refrigerate.

Strawberry Buttercream Ingredients:

1 1/2 c fresh strawberries, rinsed, hulled and coarsley chopped

4 large egg whites

1 1/4 c granulated sugar

3 sticks unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons, at room temp

Puree strawberries in a food processor until completely smooth.  Add the egg whites and sugar to the bowl of your stand mixer and set it over a pan of simmering water.  Heat, whisking constantly until all the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is no longer grainy.  Attach the bowl to your stand mixer and beat on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form (about 10 minutes).  Reduce the mixer to medium-low and add the butter 2 tablespoons at a time.  The frosting will look curdled, but just keep beating and it will come together.  Scrape down sides and add strawberry puree.  Beat until combined.  Again, it may look curdled, but just keep beating.

Core out middle of cupcakes and fill with strawberry compote and then frost with strawberry buttercream.

Japanese Fried Chicken

I was flipping through the May issue of my EveryDay with Rachel Ray Magazine which happened to feature 10 different styles of fried chicken.  Immediately after reading this issue I was craving….you guessed it….fried chicken.  Once of the styles featured was gluten-free so I decided to try my hand at it this weekend and it was soooo good.  Crispy and flavorful, this fried chicken was mouthwatering.

Marinade Ingredients:

8 pieces of chicken with skin on

1/2 c water

1/2 c gluten-free soy sauce

1/4 c rice wine vinegar

1T grated ginger

1T grated garlic

Combine all above ingredients in a large ziploc or brining bag and let marinate for at least 30 minutes or up to 12 hours.  Remove chicken pieces from marinade, but don’t toss out marinade.

2 c cornstarch

2 tsp coarse salt

1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper

3 c vegetable oil or shortening

sesame seeds

3 scallions sliced on the bias

Coat chicken pieces in seasoned cornstarch and let set on parchment lined baking sheet for 15 minutes then coat again.  Meanwhile heat oil or shortening in cast iron skillet to 350F.  Carefully fry chicken in batches and cook for 25-30 minutes total turning over halfway through cooking.  In a small saucepan boil remaining marinade for 3 minutes and then strain.  Add 1/4 c honey and 1T rice wine vinegar to the sauce.  Once chicken is fried brush on sauce and garnish with sesame seeds and sliced scallions.