Thank you Rio Luna Organic Peppers for sponsoring this post!
National Hispanic Heritage Month
National Hispanic Heritage Month runs between September 15th and October 15th and is a celebration of the contributions of Hispanic and Latinx Americans to the United States. It’s a month to recognize and celebrate native Hispanic and Latin American culture and heritage. What better way to do so than by cooking traditional cuisine from Hispanic and Latin American cultures?
My friends at Rio Luna Organics asked me to share some authentic recipes featuring their wonderfully flavorful and spicy organic peppers in celebration of National Hispanic Heritage month. Hispanic and Latin American cuisines are some of my favorite foods to make and eat on the reg. I love spice and flavor and these cultures do it best.
Empanadas de Plátano
I had thought of making empanadas and while researching authentic recipes I came across ones I had never seen or heard of before, but sounded absolutely delicious: Empanadas de Plátano or Plantain Empanadas. The emapanda dough is made from cooked ripe plantains and fillings vary from sweet to savory depending on the country and region. This version originated from Mexico I believe and is filled with re-fried black beans. I love fried plantains so these sounded amazing to me and I had to try them.
I’ve adapted this recipe from Rick Bayless and was also inspired by this authentic recipe from Mely Martinez. I added Rio Luna Organics Large Chopped Green Chiles to homemade re-fried black beans to incorporate some more flavor into the filling. Rio Luna Organics’ new labels feature a special heat index so you know how much heat your adding to your recipes. These chiles are mild but very flavorful. The re-fried black beans are so good on their own. I kept dipping tortilla chips into them while I was making the empanadas. Snack heaven. I will definitely be making these re-fried black beans again for nacho night.
Traditionally these plantain empanadas are served with grated queso añejo (aged Mexican cheese) and a spicy salsa. I skipped the cheese to keep them vegan friendly and made a spicy fire roasted tomato salsa with heat from Rio Organics Nacho Sliced Jalapeños. It’s a simple but delicious salsa that I will be making again and again.
Rio Luna Organics are masters of producing the highest quality organic peppers and work with growers to integrate sustainable farming practices like drip irrigation, recycling initiatives and crop rotation into production. Professional chef’s, including myself, who only source the best quality ingredients know Rio Luna Organics delivers on flavor and taste and that’s why we’ve been using them for years.
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Plantain Empanadas with Green Chile and Black Bean Filling
- 4 ripe plantains
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium sweet onion diced
- 3 large garlic cloves minced
- 2 cups cooked black beans or 1 15oz can drained
- 1 7 oz can Rio Luna Organic Large Chopped Green Chiles
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt divided
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper optional
- All-purpose flour for forming empanadas
- Neutral oil for frying
- Fill a 4-quart saucepan ½ with water, cover and bring to a boil over high heat.
- Trim ends of plantains. Make a long incision throughout the skin from end to end, them cut plantain into thirds.
- Boil pieces for 20 minutes, uncovered, then drain in a colander and cool to room temperature.
- Remove skins from plantains and pass them through a potato ricer into a bowl or mash with a fork.
- Season plantains with ½ teaspoon of kosher salt.
- While plantains are cooking, puree beans in a food processor until grainy with some chunks pieces.
- Heat a skillet on medium-high and add olive oil then onions and sauce until softened and starting to brown. Then add minced garlic and continue to sauté, stirring occasionally, until onions and garlic are nicely browned.
- Add bean puree, green chiles, ½ teaspoon kosher salt and cayenne if using. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture slightly thickest a consistency of soft mashed potatoes. Taste for seasoning and add salt to taste if needed. Remove from heat and cool.
- Form empanada dough into 12, roughly 1.5” diameter balls.
- Heavily flour your work surface.
- Working one a time, roll dough balls into roughly 4-5” diameter discs, flipping dough in flour as needed to keep it from from sticking to surface and hands. Add more flour as needed.
- Add 2 tablespoons of filling to the center of disc and fold dough over then seal and crimp edges with fingertips. Place formed empanadas on a well floured board or sheet pan.
- Repeat process with the remaining dough.
- Pour oil into a large (8-10”) heavy bottomed and deep-sided pot to fill it about ½”. Heat oil to 350˚F using a frying or candy thermometer to check temperature.
- Fry 3-4 empanadas at a time, turning occasionally, until nicely golden brown, about 3 minutes per batch.
- Drain empanadas on a cooling rack set over a baking sheet.
- Serve hot with Spicy Jalapeño Fire Roasted Salsa
- These empanadas are best eaten right away as the plantain crust softens over time.
- Formed empanadas can be kept and room temp for a couple hours before frying or frozen up to 6 months to fry at a future time.
Spicy Jalapeño Fire Roasted Salsa
- 1 lb fresh tomatoes skin on, cut to about plum tomato size if large
- ½ red onion cut into large chunks
- 1 clove garlic minced
- ½ cup fresh cilantro stem on
- 6-12 Rio Luna Organics Nacho Sliced Jalapeños
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Broil tomatoes on a foil lined sheet pan skin side up until skin is blackened.
- Pulse tomatoes and the rest of ingredients in a food processor until desired texture is reached.
- Transfer salsa to a serving bowl.
- Store salsa in a sealed container and refrigerate. Use within 1 week.
This post was in collaboration with and sponsored by Rio Luna Organics. All content and opinions expressed here are my own. Read more about my sponsored post and affiliate policy here.