There are core combinations of ingredients in every cuisine that are constantly repeated in recipe over recipe.
In Spanish cuisine, one such combination is bell peppers, onions, tomatoes and garlic. This combination cooked in olive oil is known as a “sofrito.” It is the foundation for numerous amazing recipes.
My latest use of the sofrito, cooked with black beans, is in my version of empanadas- flaky turnovers with a savory filling. They are the Spanish equivalent of Indian samosas.
We mostly see empanadas as individual pastries. However, I had some excellent Dufour puff pastry dough from Whole Foods in the fridge and wanted to make more of a large rustic pie instead of individual turnovers. I was curious if this was even done traditionally and did a search on the internet. Interestingly, there were several articles that pointed to this style being the “Original Empanada,” from Galicia, a region in Spain.
It is much less time consuming to make one large empanada, than many small ones. The rustic look, flaky pastry and fragrant filling make it hard to resist.
It’s very easy and rewarding to make. Give it a try!
One package of puff pastry dough (I used all butter Dufour)
Optional- 1/4 cup of grated cheese (I used a blend of cheddar and monterey jack)
One recipe for spicy black beans (see http://globalveg.com/2013/11/19/fresh-corn-tortillas-with-spicy-blackbeans/)
Make the spicy black bean filling. Allow to cool to room temperature before using (and before taking the puff pastry dough out of the fridge). Make sure you taste and adjust the seasonings, as you won’t get a chance once its inside the puff pastry.
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Defrost the puff pastry according to package directions.
Add some flour to a pastry board (or your clean kitchen counter).
Unroll the puff pastry carefully.
Cut into two pieces.
Roll each piece carefully into about a 9 inch by 12 inch rectangle. You may need to sprinkle flour so the pastry does not stick.
Work quickly- you do not want the puff pastry to get warm and sticky.
Add the filling and grated cheese to one puff pastry rectangle. Leave about an inch around the sides.
Add the other puff pastry on top and crimp the edges tightly to seal.
Cut a few vents (small holes) on the top.
Bake for 30-40 minutes until golden. Do not underbake.
Cool on a cooling rack.