Chef Time!

Chef Time!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

The Best Of The Best!

Now and then I indulge, even though they’re packed with gluten, because they’re just so damned good! I decided it was time to make these puppies gluten-free.
For the empanadas, chocolate mint was to be the herb.  Yes, this is an herb that tastes both like chocolate and spearmint.  It can be purchase at any Health food store. It’s divine in so many ways.  So I decided to go with a classic filling of beef, onions, garlic, raisins and olives but, to highlight the mint, also added cocoa, cinnamon and honey. The filling is both sweet and spicy, the crust flaky yet solid.
They’re completely gluten and dairy free, and full of flavor.
gluten free chocolate mint beef empanadas

Gluten-free Chocolate Mint Beef Empanadas
½ c. olive oil
1 c. diced white onion
3 cloves of garlic minced
1 ¼ lb. ground beef – the higher quality the better, obviously!
½ tsp. crushed red pepper
1 tsp. paprika
½ tsp. cinnamon
2 tbsp. cocoa powder
2 tbsp. honey
½ c. chopped green olives
½ c. white raisins, soaked in warm water and drained
½ c. water
½ tsp. kosher salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp. chocolate mint
Heat the oil on low in a heavy saute pan or stockpot.
Add the onions and garlic and cook on low until soft.
Add the red pepper, paprika, salt and cocoa and cook until incorporated.
Add beef and saute for about five minutes until just brown.
Add the water and cook until it boils down and the mixture is soft but not watery.
Add the olives, raisins and chocolate mint and stir to incorporate.
Remove to fridge and chill for up to 24 hours to let the flavors meld.
2 c. brown rice flour
1 c. quinoa flour
1 c. tapioca starch or arrowroot
2 tsp. xanthan gum
2 tsp. kosher salt
20 tbsp. unsalted butter, cubed
Up to one cup ice cold water
In a food processor, whip all flours, xanthan gum and salt together to combine.
Add the butter and pulse to combine until the butter is wrapped in flour in little pea-sized clumps.
Slowly add the water, bit by bit, until the dough comes together into a ball but is not wet.
Putting it all together:
Preheat the oven to 450.
Line baking sheets with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray or wipe with oil.
Turn the dough out onto a floured board (I use rice flour when rolling pastry).  Work with one quarter of the dough at a time.  Roll to 1/8 inch thickness, constantly turning, flipping and re-flouring the board as necessary.  Cut into 4″ rounds.
Place dough on sheets and put about a tablespoon of filling in the center of each.  Wet the edges of dough and fold over and press to seal.  Crimp edges with a fork.  Repeat until you have about 30 beautiful little empanadas.
If desired, wash the top of the empanadas with an egg beaten with a little water to make them glossy and bright.
Bake for about 8 minutes, turning the sheets halfway through.
Cool slightly before serving.
Prepare to be wowed.

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