Cheesy Vegetarian Empanadas

We've been back on Meatless Monday bandwagon.  Granted, it's usually meatless Tuesday or Wednesday, but Monday sounds better.

This dinner was a huge hit, and it was great to be able to make it ahead, freeze it, and pop it in the oven last night.  Although this meal seemed like there was a lot of effort put into it, I have to admit, it was pretty darn easy (shh don't tell anyone).  Next time I'll be tripling the recipe to make a larger batch.  This made about 30 empanadas, which I thought would be plenty, but after the seconds and thirds that my family helped themselves to, the serving platter was empty in no time.


Vegetarian Empanadas
4 c flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 c crisco
1 c water
1/4 c canned corn
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
1/2 c black beans
1/4 c salsa
1 tsp cumin
salt & pepper to taste
1/2 lime, juiced
1/4 c cilantro
1/2 c cheese shredded (any kind will do - I used mozzarella)
Egg whites and garlic salt for the topping

For the dough, combine the first 3 ingredients.  Cut the crisco in until it resembles coarse crumbs.  Gradually add water and mix until a dough forms.  Knead for a couple of minutes, and set aside in the fridge while you are preparing the empanada filling.  For the empanadas, combine all ingredients in a bowl (except egg whites & garlic).  Get your dough out of the fridge and pat it down top about 1" thickness (I didn't even roll it out, I literally just patted it down).  Get a wide-mouth cup (say 5" in diameter or so) and cut some circles.  Place them on a parchment lined cookie sheet, add about a teaspoon of the filling to one side, fold over and crimp with a fork to seal.  Continue until all dough is used up.  If you're baking these right away, brush the egg white/garlic salt mixture on the top of each empanada, and bake for 12 minutes in a 450 oven.  If you are freezing for later, flash freeze on the cookie sheet for 30 minutes and then transfer to a freezer bag.  Be sure to label it and add instructions for baking so that you don't have to look it up later.  Just thaw them when you're ready, and bake as mentioned above.

These were absolutely delicious with sour cream, yum yum.