Posts Tagged onion

Achievement Unlocked: Vegan Empanadas

I was going to put something about soy chorizo in the title, but I figured that’d scare people off.  Soyrizo, found right next to the beef stuff in my local Safeway, is…weird.  It actually tastes much the same as the beef stuff, but it looks terrifying and doesn’t brown well.  I have yet to clean the carbonized soy protein off my skillet.  (I’ll get to it.)

In my continuing quest for total-party-friendly D&D food, I was staring blankly into my fridge when I got the idea for a vegan empanada filling.  For anyone who’s not aware, empanadas are another entry in the Pastry Pockets Of Awesome department, usually filled with a mixture of meat, onions, and often olives.  (Note to self: buy olives.)  I switched that around a little and started with kidney beans, onions, and garlic, then added the tube of red soy protein from the bottom of my fridge.  I hacked together a dough recipe from a Terry Hope Romero posted on Yahoo, baking times from Smitten Kitchen, and my own mostly-improvised filling to create the following.  I haven’t tried them yet, as I’m saving them for Sunday; I’ll let you know in the next post how that works out.  🙂

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Vegan Chorizo-and-Bean Empanadas

  1. Make the dough.  In your handy-dandy food processor, place three cups of flour, a quarter-teaspoon of baking powder, and a teaspoon and a half of salt.  Through the chute, add one stick of margarine, cut into small chunks.  Blend until mixture looks sort of crumby.
  2. Add three-quarters of a cup of ice water, a little at a time, while blending.  When dough starts to really stick together, remove from food processor and knead together a little bit.  Flatten into large disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill overnight in fridge.  (If you’re in a hurry, this step can be shortened to a couple of hours.  Don’t cook in a hurry.)
  3. Filling time!  Drain and rinse a can of kidney beans and scrounge around your kitchen for other ideas.  Gather the white ends of some scallions, four cloves of garlic, a tube of soyrizo, a can of tomatoes, and half the contents of your spice cabinet.
  4. Slice the scallions, mince the garlic, and saute them in olive oil.  Pour into a bowl when finished and set aside, for your one roommate who hates onions.
  5. In the same olive oil, cook the kidney beans until they’re kind of mushy, but not falling apart yet.  You can also try cooking the soy chorizo, but honestly, mine just burned a bit and underwent no noticeable state change.  It’ll get cooked in the empanadas, anyway.
  6. Put soy protein and kidney beans in a bowl; add half a can, drained, of petite diced tomatoes.  Mush everything together with either a potato masher or, if you can’t find yours, a fork.
  7. When ready to prepare, remove dough from fridge and knead until most of the random crusty bits have gone away.  Roll out thin, but not so thin as to not hold its shape.  Cut circles with upside-down glass dipped in flour; lay circles on plate or empty part of rolling board.
  8. Spray cookie sheets with oil and preheat oven to 350.  Fill each little circle with a spoon of filling; add onions and garlic after filling the first two or three.  Seal by pressing down the edges of half of the circle onto the edges of the other half.  If having trouble sealing, use a little water.
  9. Bake each sheet of empanadas for 13 minutes.  Pastries will be edging toward golden brown, but not actually brown.  Remove from sheet, place on serving plate, and try not to eat four of them before they cool.  🙂

I’ll also throw in the bonus recipes for the two sauces I served with these delicious pocketfoods.  The green onion slaw comes from Smitten Kitchen by way of Bobby Flay; the chimichurri sauce is from Good Clean Eats.  They’re both delicious, especially the latter; I shall put it on everything and anything henceforth.  😀

Green Onion Dressing

  1. Place one cup chopped green onions, a quarter-cup of red wine vinegar, half a cup of olive oil, and hot peppers of choice in a blender.  The original recipe called for two serranos; I substituted half a habanero.
  2. Blend until smooth.  This makes a rather ugly dressing, so I added three drops of green food coloring to the mixture.  The result is an unnaturally green and very kicky dressing.  It’s awesome.

Chimichurri Sauce

  1. Remove the leaves from about half a large bunch of parsley and drop in a blender or food processor.  You’re looking for about three-quarters of a cup of parsley when it’s chopped.
  2. Slice four cloves of garlic and add to the blender.  Shake in a fair amount of crushed red pepper and a bit of salt.  Pour in three-quarters of a cup of olive or vegetable oil (if you used up all of your olive oil in the last recipe) and a quarter-cup of apple cider vinegar.  Blend until saucy.
  3. Serve with empanadas and enjoy.  Then plot to serve with everything else ever.  🙂

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Achievement Unlocked: Hee Hee, You Said Sausage Balls

Monthly game nights at our place involve a LOT of cooking on my part.  It’s a potluck, so I know it’s not necessary, but something in me  will not allow me to welcome people into my home without offering food, even if it’s enough food for twenty.  The next four posts will be writeups of this month’s party food!  (Rarely do I make the same recipe two months in a row, with two exceptions: a rave review potato salad and a vegan curry that’s spread halfway across the country.  I’ll post them the next time I make them.)

First up: sausage and cheese balls.  (There’s just something funny about “sausage” and “balls” in the same sentence.  Yes, I am in fact twenty-two.)  They’re not pretty, but they’re delicious, especially when you tweak the recipe as you go along.  The problem with making uber-delicious party food is that you end up eating seven or eight of them before the party ever starts.  😀  Also, they worked like a charm for taking my mind off my aching back as I cooked.

The original recipe calls for breakfast sausage, but I’ve had beef chorizo sitting in the bottom of my fridge for a while, so I used that instead.  I believe it was a little more squishy and less clumpy than it would have been otherwise, but you certainly didn’t hear me or my guests complaining.  Makes somewhere between forty and fifty little appetizers.  Thanks to the awesome ladies at We Are Not Martha for the recipe (and a lot of pictures of glittery crafts!).

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Chorizo and Cheese Balls

  1. Preheat oven to 400.  Line baking sheet with parchment paper.  (Or Silpats, if you’re lucky enough to own them.)
  2. Mix one-and-a-quarter cups of flour, half a teaspoon of sea salt, a generous shake of chili pepper, a less generous shake of black pepper, and one-and-a-half teaspoons of baking powder in a large bowl.
  3. Dump in roughly two cups of cheese: in this example case, about half a bag of reduced-fat Italian cheese blend, and a cup of cheddar that your roommate so generously shredded.  Toss with hands to coat cheese mixture with flour mixture.  Eat bits of cheese that stick to hands.  (Wash hands.)
  4. Roughly chop half an onion and add it to the mix.
  5. Squeeze in two ten-ounce tubes of beef chorizo.  Mix to coat.  Attempt to push mixture into loaf.
  6. Reread recipe, add half a stick of melted butter, THEN push mixture into loaf.  Realize that bottom of bowl still contains a nontrivial amount of flour and cheese bits.  Resolve to make that up as you go along.
  7. Form mixture into small (smaller than limes, but being consistent is not hugely necessary) balls.  Place on baking sheet.
  8. Bake for 25 minutes or until crusty on top and cooked the whole way through.  Remove from sheet and place on paper-towel-lined plate to drain.  Try not to eat the entire plate before your guests arrive.

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