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Empanadas de Verde con Queso - Green Plantain Empanadas with Cheese

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Empanadas de Verde con Queso - Green Plantain Empanadas with Cheese

Empanadas de Verde con Queso - Green Plantain Empanadas with Cheese

Marian Blazes
The "dough" for these empanadas de verde are made with green (unripe) plantains, which are starchy enough to hold their shape when stuffed with cheese (or whatever filling you like). Green plantains are less sweet than ripe plantains, and have a unique, more savory flavor that can only be appreciated when cooked (they are inedible when raw). Plantains are very versatile and both green and ripe plantains are especially delicious when fried. Read more about plantains and their uses in Latin Caribbean cooking here.

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 8-10 medium empanadas

Ingredients:

  • 4 green (unripe) plantains
  • 1 onion
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoon butter or lard
  • 1 1/2 cups grated cheese (monterey jack, cheddar, or mozzarella)
  • 2 tablespoons cream cheese
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:

  1. Peel two of the plantains (read more about how to peel green plantains here and cut them into 1 inch pieces.

  2. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook plantains until tender when pierced with a fork, about 20 minutes.

  3. While plantains are cooking, sauté onions in vegetable oil with one teaspoon cumin and garlic salt until translucent and fragrant. Set aside and let cool.

  4. When plantains are tender, drain and place hot plantains in a bowl with the butter (or lard). Mash plantains thoroughly. Add the egg yolk and mix well.

  5. Peel the remaining two plantains and grate with a cheese grater. Mix the grated plantain into the cooked plantains and knead them together to make a smooth dough. Add a 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of salt and a bit of ground pepper to season the dough. If mixture is too dry to come together in a dough, add a little more butter or a tablespoon of water. Cover dough with plastic wrap and let rest for 15 minutes.

  6. Mix grated cheese with onions and cream cheese to make the filling.

  7. Take a piece of plantain dough slightly larger than a golf ball and flatten it into a rough circle between to pieces of plastic wrap. Place some of the filling in the middle, then fold the plantain dough over the filling to make a semi-circle. It can help to wet the edges of the circle with water before pressing them together. Shape the dough into a neat semicircle, sealing the edges as much as possible.

  8. Heat several inches of oil in a deep pan to 360 degrees. Fry empanadas in batches until dark golden brown and crispy. Drain on paper towels. Sprinkle with coarse salt if desired. Serve warm.

Makes 8-10 empanadas.

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