These sweet plantain empanadas sure bring back childhood memories. I have always loved plantains, growing up we often had fried “maduros” (ripe plantains) with our meals, but this occasional treat used to spice up one of my favorite fruits. These are now one of my daughter’s favorite treats as well.
You will need very ripe plantains to make this work. They should be very soft to the touch and the peel mostly black. For those who do not consume dairy, I am also giving you a recipe for a vegan cashew cheese, but you will need to start making the cheese the day before.
4 very ripe plantains
¼ to ½ cup of tapioca flour
¼ cup of coconut flour
Coconut oil for frying
½ tsp of cumin or cinnamon (optional)
For the filling use shredded mozzarella cheese or cashew cheese (Recipe Below)
- Place unpeeled plantains in a large saucepan and cover with water
- Bring to a boil over high heat and continue to cook until plantains are very soft and the peel begins to crack and open.
- Remove from heat and drain.
- Peel plantains and place in a bowl
- Remove excess fluid and mash using a fork of potato masher
- Add the coconut flour and mix
- Start adding the tapioca flour until the dough is pliable and you can roll them into balls, you can add a pinch of salt and some cumin or a little bit of cinnamon, but I like them plain
- Make 2 inch balls with the dough
- Place ball over parchment paper or a large Ziploc bag, and start patting it down to make a tortilla about 1/8 inch thick. You can put another piece of parchment paper over the dough to make the flattening part easier.
- Place about 1 tbsp of cheese in the middle of the patty staying away from the edges.
- Using the parchment paper under the patty, gently fold the patty in half.
- Press the edges with your fingers to lock the cheese inside.
- Heat the oil in a large skillet and pan fry the empanadas over medium heat until golden brown (I like them a little bit charred)
- Serve and enjoy
For the cashew cheese
2 cups raw cashews
Cold water enough to cover the cashews by 2 inches
1/3 to 2/3 cup water
2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar
salt to taste
- Place the cashews in a medium bowl. Add the cold water and let soak for 2 hours. Drain.
- Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend, scraping down the sides occasionally, for 5 minutes, or until very smooth, you may need to add a little bit more water to get the right consistency. It will look like a thick hummus.
- Line a medium bowl with several layers of paper towels or an absorbable cloth and pour the cheese over it.
- Cover and let stand at room temperature for at least about 24 hours
- Refrigerate until ready to use or for up to 5 days.
Makes about 10 empanadas