This morning, I tried to make spinach pastries. Having learned my lesson about trying to improv-bake last weekend, with a tragically failed attempt at cookies, I carefully followed a dough recipe to which I will not link you because it was such a bad idea. The moral of that story is, spinach pastries do not necessitate yeasted dough. Lesson learned.
I ate them anyway. It was pretty tragic. It may not be apparent from the photo, but those things were unbelievably doughy. Not what I had in mind at all.
As the day went on, I moped about my failed pastries. It was difficult to stop moping, because I kept eating them; not because they were particularly tasty, but because I got hell-bent on not wasting the damn things. And I had so much filling left over! The filling was spectacular! It was only the dough that sucked.
About mid-way through the 3rd one, I knew what I had to do.
With the helpful consultation of a few baking experts from the Post Punk Kitchen via Skype chat, it became clear that what I really wanted to make were empanadas, using a non-yeast dough. So, armed with this recipe and a sense of adventure, I went back in for Round Two.
So, let me tell you how I made these.
(Note: this is WAY more filling than you need for the amount of dough, but I had no idea when I made it how much I was going to need. Also, you can use it like sauce and dip the empanadas in it after they’re baked!)
9 oz spinach
1 cup diced tomato with juice
juice of 1/2 lemon
juice of 1/2 lime
1/2 onion, diced
1/4 cup garlic oil (I needed to use up my garlic oil, but next time I would probably use 1/4 cup plain olive oil and a few cloves of raw garlic)
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup nutritional yeast
I put all that in my blender and pureed it.
I pre-heated the oven to 400 F.
I rolled my dough out, nice and flat, then used a giant mug as a cookie cutter to make big round circles. I ended up with 4 evenly sized circles and one that was a lot bigger. I took each one and rolled it as flat as I could get it.
I picked up each circle and, one by one, spooned in as much of the spinach filling as I could get in there. Then I added some minced seitan. I folded the circles over, pinching around the edges to close them up, and then taking a fork and pressing it into the sealed edges to make those funky little ribbed patterns.
Of course, I ended up getting spinach goop all over myself and my kitchen and everything. I spent a lot of time laughing my ass off and licking things. This is my favorite part of cooking.
As a final touch, I took some salt water and melted soybutter and sprinkled it over the tops of the pastries. I baked them for about 25 minutes, checking around the 15 minute point to see how they were doing.
I am exhausted now, but I am so glad I took the time to go back and try again!