Tiny pies filled with mashed plantains and cheese.
- 1 green plantain
- 1/2 red onion (cut in 1/4-inch strips)
- Cheese (any cheese that does well with heat like Queso Fresco or mozzarella)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
Masa (dough) Ingredients
- 3 cups flour (plus more for sprinkling and dusting)
- 1/4 cup or 1/2 stick butter/lard (the colder the better)
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup ice water
- Oil for frying
- Boil the plantain.
- While the plantain is boiling, sauté the onion in olive oil until caramelized.
- Set onions aside.
- When the plantain is fork-tender, drain the water and reserve the liquid.
- Mash the plantain, adding the liquid as necessary (it should be the consistency of mashed potatoes).
- Add olive oil and salt to taste and set aside.
- Set cheese to the side along with mashed plantains and onions.
- Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
- Cut the butter/lard into small pieces and add to the dry ingredients.
- With your hands, work the butter into the flour until the batter is uniformly like bread crumbs.
- Add the cream and water.
- Keep mixing and kneading until well mixed, adding flour or more ice water as needed.
- It should make a nice dough ball.
- Divide the dough in half and refrigerate one half while you work with the other half.
- Don’t overwork the dough, or the butter will melt and change the consistency and texture.
- Grab a small piece of dough and make a ball.
- Flour your workspace and roll the ball out thin to the size of a softball.
- Fill with a tablespoon or so of filling.
- Add a bit of cheese and onions in the center.
- Fold the dough over to make a half-circle and crimp the edges with a fork.
- Repeat this process with all the remaining dough and filling.
- Heat oil for frying in a large pot.
- Fry empanadas until golden brown.
Recipe submitted by Hannah Kelley-Bell - Peace Corps Volunteer, Costa Rica (2010-2012)
Photo courtesy of Ryan Champiny - Peace Corps Volunteer, Mexico