These are perfect as a first course, party snack or for lunch. The empanada can be made ahead of time and frozen, then thawed out and baked. It holds up well to reheating also. Almost anything can be used as a filling for empanadas, just remember not to over stuff each one or messiness will ensue.
The filling for this particular recipe is slightly involved but the real star is the spicy red chili sauce that perfectly complements the sweetness and earthiness of the beans and sweet potatoes. Most of the ingredients should be easy to find. For most of us chipotles (smoked jalapenos) are only available in cans packed in a tomato-based sauce called adobo. If you can get them by themselves well whoopie for you. Everyone else just rinse the sauce off before using.
The dough is pretty much a pie crust, with a few differences, but if you can make pie dough then the consistency and basic steps are the same. For the best empanada dough recipe go here. This dough recipe will make about 16-18 4″ rounds, but it can be increased by as much as wanted. The filling recipe makes enough for about two batches of dough. Or you can have burritos the next night using the filling.
Sweet Potato Black Bean Empanadas with Spicy Red Chili Sauce
For Sweet Potato
- 1 large sweet potato (about 1 1/2 pounds)
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp cumin
Peel potato and chop into cubes about the size of a dice. Toss with other ingredients and roast on a baking sheet stirring every so often in an oven at 400 degrees until crispy, about 30 minutes. Remove and let cool.
For Black Beans
- 1 cup dried black beans
- 1 ancho chili
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- Zest of 1 lime
Rinse beans and pick out any stones or bad ones. Cover in cold water and soak overnight, then tear up dried ancho chili by hand into small bits and add to beans. Bring to a boil then cook until almost soft adding more water if necessary, about 1 1/2 hours. Add onion and garlic, season with salt and pepper and cook until thick and beans are almost falling apart. Stir in lime zest and let cool.
For Red Chili Sauce
- 2 dried ancho chilis
- 2 chipotles
- 4 cayenne peppers
- 1 small onion cut into chunks
- Juice of 2 limes
- 1 14 oz can whole tomatoes
Place ancho chilis in a bowl and add 2 cups boiling water and reconstitute for 15 minutes. In a blender add all chilis, lime juice and onion. Blend adding enough soaking water to make a thick paste. Add canned tomatoes and blend again. Thin with more soaking water if to thick, sauce should resemble tomato soup.
Make the empanada dough and roll out the rounds. In the center of each one place three sweet potatoes and 1 1/2 tsp black beans. Fold dough rounds in half so they look like a half moon and, using a fork, crimp the edge shut. If it will not stick add a little water with a finger to the edge. Place each empanada on a well greased baking sheet. When done forming all of them mix 1 egg with 2 tbsp milk and brush wash over each one. Bake at 400 degrees until browned and done, about 15-20 minutes. Serve with chili sauce on top and more for dipping.