Empanadas are great because you can stuff them with anything you would like. You can stuff it with beans and veggies or make it sweet by adding sugar or a fruit juice to the mixture and stuff it with fruit (my favorite sweet versions are stuffed with pumpkin or pineapple puree). My husband dubbed them “Mexican Hot Pockets”. If your children are reluctant to try them some times naming them something they are familiar with makes all the difference! My mother raised me on this Mexican dish and it was always one of my favorites. I plan to raise my children on them too but this time I am making them a little bit healthier…no offense mom 🙂
I had to make the recipe quite large considering I was cooking for 5 people (2 to 3 empanadas or sopes per person) so feel free to half the recipe if you are only cooking for two. You can always try freezing or refrigerating for later use but I must warn you that they may not taste that great because the corn masa dries out. Another word of advice, you may want to pick up the ingredients and tools at a Hispanic market as they tend to be much cheaper.
I used the same mixture for the empandas that I did for the sopes but the only difference was I added “refried” beans to it and mashed it all together.
Ingredients for stuffing:
4 small potatoes (I use red or idaho), diced
1 bunch of cilatnro, diced
2 small tomatoes, chopped
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 small cans of roasted long green chili or 4 fresh roasted long green chili’s, diced (you can add more if you would like)
1 cup of TVP (textured vegetable protein) or tempeh (optional) if you don’t use tempeh or TVP you may add more potatoes
about 2 to 3 cups water for sauteing
Sea salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste
If you would like, you may add cooked pinto beans to this mixture or serve on the side for sopes or add “refried” pinto beans to the mixture for empanadas
Directions: Water saute your potatoes over medium heat in a large skillet. Once they begin to soften add all the other ingredients and saute all together for about 7 min. Set aside and begin working on your corn masa.
Ingredients for Corn Masa: (may half quantities if cooking for 2 to 3 people)
4 cups Maseca brand corn flour
1 1/2 Tbs of baking powder
1/2 Tbs sea salt
2 and 3/4 cups of warm water
A spoon if you are doing sopes or fork for empanadas
A piece of plastic if doing empanadas. I just cut up a quart sized zip lock bag.
You will need a cast iron pan and if you are going to make empanadas you will need a tortilla press unless you would like to use your hands and a rolling pin which will take much longer.
Directions: Pre- Heat the cast iron pan to medium heat. Mix together dry ingredients then add water and use hands to combine. If the mixture appears too dry you may add more water.
For sopes you will form ball of mixture about 2 inches and then smash it out using your hands in to a patty. Place them on the pan and cook on each side about 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate and using a spoon (or your fingers if you have the guts) smash out the edges of the pattie and use your hands to cup it in to form somewhat of a bowl. Add potato mixture in to the sope and you can serve them with salsa, vegan sour cream, and guacamole and or beans and spanish on the side. Garnish with fresh cilantro.
For empanadas you will form the a ball of mixture about 1 and a half inches in diameter. Open the tortillas press and place plastic so that it covers the top and bottom of the press (see picture above). Place the ball in the center but closer to the fold not the handle. Smash it down to form a tortilla. You will know if your mixture is too dry if the mixture cracks easily….if so then add water. Transfer the tortilla to a plate and spoon about a tablespoon of potato/bean mixture on half of the tortilla then fold over the other half and using a fork on the outer edges close the tortilla. Place on the cast iron pan and cook on each side about 2 to 3 minutes. You can serve them with salsa, vegan sour cream, and guacamole and or beans and spanish on the side. Garnish with fresh cilantro.