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Sweet Potato, Bean and Turkey Empanada – Family Favorites

Our family’s favorite meal this week was a new one but it was a hit!  I took a little bit of lots of things we had around and came up with these empanadas.  I largely used this recipe but, as usual, made some modifications.  The recipe made a bunch, so we’re still eating leftovers, but I will definitely make them again, and might mix it up next time 🙂

A couple of months ago, a friend invited us for lunch and served tacos with sweet potatoes mixed in with the meat.  It was delicious!  She got the idea from Jessica Seinfeld’s book, Deceptively Delicious.  In theory, I was opposed to deceptively delicious.  I don’t want to hide vegetables from my kids, I want them to know them and to love them.  But my friend sold me on the notion of adding vegetables to things we’re already cooking for more nutrients and fiber and sometimes, flavor.  Let’s face it, on a whole, our society is lacking a few vegetables each day! So, when sweet potatoes went on sale this fall, I bought a few, cooked them and froze them for easy access.  I didn’t have a specific plan (which sometimes drives my dear husband crazy), but I figured I would use them.

So I pulled out our frozen mashed sweet potato, had some black beans on hand and cooked up some ground turkey because, frankly, our family likes meat, so rather than keep this vegetarian, we added in meat.  It would have been fine to have without the meat.  Finally, I put in some cheese.  I love cheese.  My kids love cheese.  So why not?  Once the dough was rolled out, I sprinkled on a little cheese before filling them.  We were pleasantly surprised with the result.  Top with the salsa of your choice (we had some green enchilada sauce) and some sour cream – rice on the side – yum!
ImageHungry yet?  Let’s get cooking!
Empanada Recipe (this takes about 1 1/2 hours start to finish!)

Printable Recipe: Sweet Potato, Black Bean, Turkey Empanadas

2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3 Tablespoons butter
1/3 cup cold water
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 Tablespoon dried cilantro
1 large egg, lightly beaten

3/4 cup mashed cooked sweet potatoes
3/4 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 medium onion, diced
1/2 lb ground turkey
2  teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 Tablespoons dried cilantro
1 1/2 teaspoons chile powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese (or use monterey jack or colby jack)
1 egg white, lightly beaten

Directions
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Combine flour and 3/4 teaspoon salt in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk.  Cut in butter until flour resembles coarse sand.  Add water, vinegar and egg until just moist.  Knead lightly until smooth.  Add water a teaspoon at a time if not wet enough.  Shape dough into a ball, and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill for at least 1 hour.

Heat skillet over medium high heat.  Cook turkey until no longer pink.  Add in onions.  Cook until fragrant.  Stir in cumin and chile powder.  Set aside.
Stir together sweet potatoes, black beans and turkey mixture.

Preheat oven to 400°.

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Divide dough into 10 equal portions, shaping each into a ball. Roll each dough portion into a (5-inch) circle on a lightly floured surface. Working with 1 portion at a time (cover remaining dough to keep from drying), sprinkle 2 teaspoons shredded cheese over dough.
Spoon 3 level tablespoons bean and potato mixture into center of each circle. Moisten edges of dough with egg white; fold dough over filling. Press edges together to seal.  Brush egg white on top of empanadas.  Place empanadas on a large baking sheet with a sheet of parchment paper.  Bake at 400° for 16 minutes or until lightly browned.
ImageTop with the salsa of your choice (we had some green enchilada sauce) and some sour cream – rice on the side – yum!

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Posted by on November 15, 2013 in Family Favorites

 

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Hurst Huevos Rancheros

It’s another Monday, so another meatless Monday recipe!  I have to confess, I don’t know how authentic these huevos are, thus the “Hurst Huevos”.  The concept of huevos rancheros seems so simple – beans and eggs, but I have a friend who really simplified the process for me.  I do have a habit of taking simple things and making them more complicated, so you’ll get both the complicated and simple process below.

The basic concept is black beans, eggs, salsa and cheese over tortillas.  As I mentioned in my post on Black bean soup, up until recently, I was too intimidated to cook dried beans  Now, I don’t know why.  Dried beans are CHEAP and we almost always have some on hand.  In fact, this month I bought a 10 pound bag of them from Costco – oh dear!  But don’t be intimidated – it’s simple.  However, if you’re short on time, open a can of black beans and you’ll get the same dinner!

My new adventure, though, was to learn how to make homemade tortillas.  I’ll just refer you to the Pioneer Woman on this one.  Again, they take some time, but trust me, try them once – they are GREAT!  I will say that I did one batch on my griddle and one on the stove.  The stove got much hotter and since heat is key for the tortillas, take the time to do it on the stove.  The fun thing about the homemade tortillas for huevos rancheros is that you can make a thicker tortilla – great for absorbing that extra sauce and getting a great bite.

Okay, so let’s get cooking.

Take 1lb beans, pour them into a large pot and cover with about 4 inches of water.  Turn on the heat to medium and cook until it just starts to bubble around the edges.  Now, I add my spices and more water if the beans are above the surface of the water.  In this case, I add a bit of salt, cumin, and garlic powder.  Sometimes I’ll make them just with a bay leaf and a little salt, or chili powder – this is where the creativity takes off.

Then just let the beans simmer for an hour or so.  My mom’s best tip is to test it.  After about 45 minutes, take out one bean and see how it’s doing.  If it’s crunchy, go another 15 minutes.  If it’s chewy but firm, just go about 5 minutes, if it’s popping open, it’s time to stop.  Every once in a while, I do stir them just to keep them cooking evenly but not constantly – this is supposed to be simple.

Once they’re just right, drain the water (you can save the bean juice for soup base on another occasion, just more flavor than water or just throw it away!)  Make sure to rinse them with cold water to stop the beans from cooking.

1lb beans may seem like a lot or maybe you don’t have time in the afternoon to do this, that’s fine.  Just cook them one weekend afternoon and use them when you need them or freeze them.  It’s nice to have home-cooked beans ready in the time it takes to microwave or defrost them!

Once you’re ready to put together the huevos, you’ll need about 20 minutes.  Take your beans in a large skillet – I usually use about a cup of beans per person.  Add back some of that bean juice or about 1/2 cup of water and let it simmer.

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Next add about a cup of salsa and stir it in and simmer.  Now, scoop about a small hole around the perimeter into the beans.  Crack an egg into the simmering liquid and basically poach it.  Our family likes hard poached eggs, but you could scoop them out as soon as they are cooked to your likeness.  Then top with cheese and scoop onto a warm tortilla.  Hm, one of our family’s favorite cheap, easy, meatless meals.  Enjoy!

Hurst Huevos Rancheros

1 lb black beans (or 4 cans)
1 tsp cumin
(1/2 tsp of other spices: garlic powder, salt, chili powder, etc – use your imagination!)
1 cups salsa
5 eggs
5 tortillas
1 cup shredded cheese

Cook Black Beans

  1. Take 1lb beans, pour them into a large pot and cover with about 4 inches of water.
  2. Turn on the heat to medium and cook until it just starts to bubble around the edges. Now, I add my spices and more water if the beans are above the surface of the water.
  3. Add spices. Then just let the beans simmer for an hour or so.
  4. After about 45 minutes, take out one bean and see how it’s doing. If it’s crunchy, go another 15 minutes. If it’s chewy but firm, just go about 5 minutes, if it’s popping open, it’s time to stop.
  5. Once they’re just right, drain the water and rinse them with cold water to stop the beans from cooking.

Prepare Huevos

  1. Place black beans in a large skillet – about 1 cup of beans per person.
  2. Add about 1/2 cup of water and let it simmer. Next add about a cup of salsa and stir it in and simmer.
  3. Now, scoop about a small hole around the perimeter into the beans. Crack an egg into the simmering liquid and basically poach it.
  4. Top with cheese and scoop onto a warm tortilla.

Printable Version of this recipe

 
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Posted by on November 11, 2013 in Meatless Mondays

 

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