Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Kohlrabi & Squash Empanadas

This past week, in our food share, we received Kohlrabi.

If you are like me, you may have said "excuse me!" I called several people asking what these were. These little sputnik-shaped vegetables come in green or purple, can be eaten raw or cooked, and taste a lot like broccoli stems. The word kohlrabi is German for cabbage turnip (kohl as in cole-slaw, and rĂ¼be for turnip) though kohlrabi is more related to cabbage and cauliflower than to root vegetables.

After a lot of research and recipe searching, I decided to make some Kohlradi & Squash Empanadas! I ended up adding leftover chicken in the mixture at the very end!

I even made the dough for the outer part of the empanadas. Do not feel like you have to make your own dough. Store bought dough will work just as good and will cut the time down. Make sure you try making your own dough, just once!!!! It is delicious!

The Ingredients:
3 cloves of garlic, finely minced
1 inch of garlic, peeled and grated.
1 medium size kohlrabi, peeled and cut into small cubes
1 small zucchini, cut into small cubes
1 small squash, cut into small cubes
2 large scallions, both white an green parts, finely cut
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp RAW butter (I didn't have Olive Oil so I used 2 Tbsp of RAW butter)
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 box of pre-made pie crust or one batch of homemade dough (see below)
1 egg

The Directions:
In a medium skillet, heat oil and butter over medium heat. Add garlic and ginger to brown. Add kohlrabi cubes, a pinch of salt and some pepper. Toss well and cook 3 or 4 minutes until kohlrabi are softening a bit. Add squash cubes and continue to cook for 4 more minutes. Add scallions, radish, nutmeg and another pinch of salt and pepper. Mix well and cook for one minute before removing from heat. Set mixture to this side to cool.
Roll out dough to be a little thinner than pie crust typically is. If you are using pre-made crust from the store, run your rolling pin over it once or twice. Using a cereal bowl or large circular cookie cutter, cut out 6 inch-ish circles from the dough. It should yield about 15, give or take depending on your cutter and dough thickness.
Pre-heat oven to 425F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Prepare egg wash by beating egg with a teaspoon of water and set to the side along with a small bowl of water.
To make the empanadas, spoon one tablespoon of kohlrabi and squash mixture into the center of a circle of dough. (It’s better to have less filling than too much or the empanadas won’t hold together. Feel out the right ratio that allows you to close off the dough without any filling popping out.) Dip your finger in the bowl of water and run it around the outside edge of the dough. Fold dough over the filling to create a half circle. Press down edges. Carefully pick up the dough pocket and pinch edges (see photo) to seal them tightly. A fork can also be used to crimp the edges if you want a less tedious method.
Repeat above process to finish all the empanadas, laying them on the lined cookie sheet when done. With a fork, prick the tops once and brush with egg wash. Bake for 8 minutes and turn over. Bake another 5 to 7 minutes until deep golden brown and flaky. Best served straight from the oven.
*****For the Dough:

4 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (I swapped 1 cup with brown rice flour)
3 teaspoons salt
2 sticks (1 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 large eggs
2/3 cup ice water
2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar

Make Dough: Sift flour with salt into a large bowl and blend in butter with your fingertips or a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse meal with some (roughly pea-size) butter lumps. Beat together egg, water, and vinegar in a small bowl with a fork. Add to flour mixture, stirring with fork until just incorporated. Turn out mixture onto a lightly floured surface and gather together, then knead gently with heel of your hand once or twice, just enough to bring dough together. Form dough into two flat rectangles and chill them, each wrapped in plastic wrap, at least 1 hour. Dough can be chilled up to 6 hours total

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