In continuing with this week’s theme of empanadas, here’s yet another tasty filling. There are a lot of steps here, from roasting peppers to grating and cooking down corn, but although they aren’t so easy to make, the sweetness of the corn and roasted peppers makes the resulting empanadas incredibly easy to eat. I’d never grated fresh corn before, but I can see myself using this technique in the future for other corn fillings or dips or even just a savory (or sweet!) corn puree.
Corn and Roasted Pepper Empanadas (adapted from From Argentina With Love)
Yield: about 20 large or 30 small empanadas
- 2 bell peppers*
- 5 ears corn, shucked and rinsed
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 Tbsp cornstarch
- 2 ounces mozzarella cheese, grated
- 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 recipe empanada dough
- 1 egg white, beaten
- 1 egg yolk, beaten
*Red or yellow are best as they’re sweeter and have more nutrients than the green ones.
- Over an open flame on a gas stove (or grill) or under the broiler in the oven, roast 2 bell peppers until the skin is blistered and charred. Rotate the peppers halfway through. This should take about 10 – 15 minutes using either method.
- Transfer the peppers to a paper bag or a bowl. Roll the top of the bag down or cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap, and set aside until cooled (about 20 minutes), then remove the peppers, rub the skins to remove, chop off the stem, squeeze and scrape out the innards (seeds and membranes), and dice.
- Meanwhile, using the large holes on a box grater, grate 5 ears corn, shucked and rinsed into a large bowl, rotating to get all the kernels. Slide the flat edge of a butter knife down all the sides of each ear of corn to release any additional starchy juices into the bowl.
- In a medium sautee pan, heat 1 Tbsp olive oil over medium high heat, then sautee 1 onion, diced until translucent, about 10 minutes.
- Add the grated corn, and stir together, then bring to a boil (it will bubble up slowly), stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.
- Stir in 2 Tbsp cornstarch, and let simmer until the mixture thickens, about half an hour.
- Add the diced roasted peppers, stir briefly to combine, then remove from heat.
- Stir in 2 ounces mozzarella cheese, grated until thoroughly combined.
- Add 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper and salt and pepper, to taste. Let cool before using. After cooling, the filling can be refrigerated or used immediately (I recommend refrigerating the filling for at least a little bit to make the empanadas easier to fill).
- Brush a little of 1 egg white, beaten around the edge of each disc of dough.
- Place some filling in the center of each disc of dough (be sure not to over-stuff), and then fold the disc shut, and press the edges together. Crimp the edges with a fork to seal (alternatively, you can fold the edges around with a rope pinch), then place on a baking sheet.
- Brush the tops of the empanadas with 1 egg yolk, beaten.
- Bake until golden-brown, about 20 – 40 minutes, depending on the size of the empanadas.