If this blog is any indication, soy curls are on my mind! I love how they soak up flavor. I love their chewiness. I love that they have no sodium. If I add them to a dish, I don't have to worry about it quickly devolving into the saltiest thing on earth.
I realize that soy curls are not readily available at grocers around the world. In the US, they are available online. I am not receiving any money for singing their praises, so it's with a genuine love of soy curls, that I encourage you to consider them. Nevertheless, if you find it challenging to locate them in your area, please feel free to substitute dehydrated textured vegetable protein for the soy curls.
Also, ancho chiles are dried poblanos. As a general rule, they are not hot at all, and in fact, taste kind of like raisins. Every now and then, you'll end up with one that's hot, so it's a good idea to taste whatever you are putting them in before you add additional heat from crushed red pepper, cayenne or whatever your preferred piquancy spice or chiles may be.
This recipe requires some preparation--making the dough and letting it chill out in the fridge for 60 minutes, baking the sweet potato ahead of time, roasting bell peppers, cooking the soy curl chorizo in a skillet, and assembling the empanadas. It's a good recipe for a day when all you want to do is hang out in the kitchen. It takes, at least, 2-3 hours. Maybe drink a glass of Spanish wine, while you're working on them?
The pay off of all that hard work are delicious empanadas, a sense of mastery, and the ability to share a meal with those you care for most, even if it's just you!
Soy Curl Chorizo Empanadas
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 ½ cup all-purpose flour
6 Tbsp vegetable shortening
1 tsp white vinegar
½ cup very cold water + more water, if needed
1 ½ cup dehydrated soy curls
2-3 dried ancho chiles
1 ½ tsp fresh oregano
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
½ tsp smoked paprika
¼ tsp ground cloves
½ tsp red miso
3 garlic cloves
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp crushed red pepper
¾ cup hot water
1 cup broth (fake chicken or vegetable)
Olive oil, to fry up chorizo
1 large sweet potato, baked and skins removed
1 garlic clove, coarsely chopped
½-1 jalapeño, finely chopped
1 tsp lemon juice
Salt, to taste
½ green bell pepper
½ red bell pepper
Olive oil, for drizzling
½ cup vegan cheese, optional
1. In a mixing bowl, combine whole wheat pastry flour and all-purpose flour. Add the shortening and use a fork to break it up. It should resemble sand. Make a well in the center of the flour-shortening mixture. Pour the water and white vinegar into it. Mix. If it has trouble sticking together, add 2 Tbsp of water and mix again. If it is still not sticking, continue adding 2 Tbsp water and mixing until it is sticking together. Roll into a ball, cover in plastic wrap, and put in the refrigerator for 60 minutes.
2. Pulse soy curls in a food processor until they are broken into smaller pieces. Empty the contents of the food processor into a large mixing bowl. Add everything else listed under "Chorizo" to the food processor. Blend until completely smooth. Taste, and adjust seasonings, if needed. Add to soy curls, mix, and set aside to allow to marinade.
3. Set oven to BROIL on HIGH. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Coat bell peppers with olive oil, and place on the parchment lined cookie sheet. Broil on HIGH for 6-7 minutes or until peppers are blackened on the outside. Remove from oven, slice into strips and allow to cool.
3. Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil to a skillet over medium-high heat. Add soy curl chorizo in a single layer and allow it to cook without touching it for 1-2 minutes. Then, flip everything and add more olive oil, if needed. Cook until it reaches the level of crispness that you prefer. Then, remove from heat and allow to cool down.
4. Smash the baked sweet potato with a fork in a mixing bowl. Add garlic, jalapeño, lemon juice, and salt. Mix. Taste and adjust seasoning, if needed.
5. Preheat oven to 400 F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Remove dough from refrigerator. Divide into 14 small balls of dough. Roll out one of the balls, add sweet potato mash, chorizo, sliced roasted peppers and vegan cheese (if using).
6. Fold one side over to the other side, and pinch the dough together around the edge.
7. Crimp with a fork around the edge. Place finished empanada on the parchment lined cookie sheet. Repeat the process until all 14 empanadas are stuffed and sealed. Then, bake in the oven at 400 F for 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven and serve.