“I participated in an Ambassador Program on behalf of Influence Central for P.A.N. Cornmeal. I received product samples as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.”
I have been trying to be more creative and adventurous in the kitchen lately. Go a bit outside my normal comfort zone, and I really highly encourage you to do the same. The feeling of accomplishment when something I’ve been wanting to make goes swimmingly is absolutely wonderful. While Cornmeal is ALWAYS a staple in my pantry, I wanted to try something outside my norm with it. It has such versatility in the kitchen and in southern dishes particularly, If it’s not in my pantry, something is wrong. I was feeling adventurous this week though and went pretty far “south” for my culinary exploration. P.A.N. cornmeal is the number one cornmeal used in most homes in South America. It is now breaking into the American market thankfully! Corn is native to the Americas, but due to its rich nutrients and versatility, cornmeal is a staple all over the world. One of the other GREAT things about P.A.N. is, its gluten free. That just makes it all the better for me to cook with since I’m already trying to cut gluten. I’ve already used it in several of my dishes (more of which I plan to share with you soon)!
One of my dear friends is actually from Guatamala and she encouraged me to go the empanada route! I was hesitant, I won’t lie. I mean it sounded fairly labor intensive, especially for a weeknight meal, but boy was I WRONG! Come to find out, the making of empanadas is actually a simple process and not very time consuming at all. I thought of some of my favorite flavor combinations in the kitchen and bam, these Black Bean Goat Cheese and Caramelized Onion Empanadas came to fruition. The use of P.A.N. White cornmeal made these so light and fluffy on the inside, creamy filling and a crispy crunchy on the outside for the perfect balance.
Do yourself a favor, be a food explorer and make something you’ve never tried before. You will be so happy you did. One more reason emapanadas are the perfect starting point, the possibilities are endless. Try adding some ground beef, chicken or even go the sweet route and add chocolate chips and marshmallows finished off with cinnamon and sugar.
For more inspiration and see the versatility of P.A.N. be sure to check out the P.A.N. Tumblr page for more recipes and ideas.
- Vegetable oil for frying
- EMPANADA DOUGH
- 1½ Cups P.A.N. White Cornmeal
- 1 Teaspoon Taco Seasoning
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- 2 Cups Water
- 1 Tablespoon Coconut Oil (or Canola oil)
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1 Medium Onion Diced
- 1 16 oz Can Black beans rinsed and drained
- 4 oz Goat Cheese
- DOUGH PREPARATION:
- In a large bowl mix the P.A.N. Cornmeal, taco seasoning and salt with a fork to blend well. Add in the water and oil and continue to mix until completely incorporated. Dough may seem a bit soggy at first, let it sit for a couple minutes. Once it has started to become more dough-like, knead with your hands and begin to form a ball. Pat down and set aside.
- FILLING PREPARATION:
- In a large skillet over medium heat add 1 of the tablespoons of oil and onions. Continue to cook the onions past translucent stirring occasionally. Watch the onions closely for 5-10 minutes until onions begin to caramelize.
- Add in beans and remaining tablespoon of oil. Let beans cook for a couple minutes and then once they begin to soften start mashing slightly with a fork.
- Lower the heat and stir in goat cheese.
- Remove from heat completely.
- Separate the dough into about 2 inch balls.
- Take 2 pieces of plastic wrap and flatten dough in between two pieces with your hand, a drinking glass or rolling pin to where they are very thin.
- Remove the top layer of wrap and add about 1 tablespoon of the bean filling to the center of the dough. Using the plastic wrap that the dough is laying on, fold the empanada in half and seal the empanada well with a fork or your fingers.
- TO COOK:
- Fill large pot or deep skillet with vegetable oil and heat to 350.
- Add a few empanadas at a time and fry for about 2-3 minutes on each side until crispy and golden.
- Remove empanadas from oil and place on a paper towel lined plate.
- Serve immediately with sour cream.