Zucchini and Corn Empanadas

Heading to a party, barbecue, or picnic for the Fourth of July? Instead of just running out for the token bag of chips, case of beer, or packaged dessert, why not make these empanadas? Made with spelt flour, these veggie appetizers are sure to be the hit of any event.

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Zucchini and Corn Empanadas
Excerpted from The Homemade Flour Cookbook by Erin Alderson

These vegetarian empanadas hit the spot when I’m craving street fair–style food without all the grease. Divide the dough into even smaller portions and make cute finger food that’s perfect for any party! Serve with your favorite salsa, sour cream, or plain Greek yogurt.

Yield: 12 empanadas

For the dough:
2 1⁄4 cups (270 g) spelt flour
1 1⁄2 teaspoons sea salt
10 tablespoons (140 g) cold butter, cubed
1 large egg
2 tablespoons (30 ml) heavy cream

For the filling:
1 tablespoon (15 ml) olive oil
1 small red onion, minced
2 small jalapeño chile peppers, minced
1 medium zucchini (250 g), diced
Kernels from 2 medium ears corn, or 1 3⁄4 cups (300 g) frozen corn kernels, thawed
1⁄2 cup (8 g) chopped fresh cilantro
1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt
1⁄4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
Juice of 1 lime

For the assembly:
1 large egg
1 tablespoon (15 ml) water
Paprika, for sprinkling

To make the dough: In a medium bowl, combine the flour and salt. Cut the butter into the flour mixture with either a pastry blender or your hands (my preferred method) until the dough is in pea-size pieces. In
a separate bowl, whisk together the egg and heavy cream. Pour over the dry ingredients and mix with a fork until the dough begins to come together (it will still look quite shaggy). Dump out onto a lightly floured surface and knead the dough together. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, to make the filling: Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté the onion and jalapeño for 4 to 5 minutes, until the onion becomes fragrant. Add the zucchini and corn and continue to cook until both are beginning to brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Combine the vegetables with the cilantro, salt, red pepper, and lime juice in a food processor. Pulse 4 or 5 times, bringing the mixture together but still leaving texture. Place in the refrigerator to let cool while you roll out the empanada dough. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C, or gas mark 5). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

To assemble the empanadas: Whisk together the egg and water. Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a 6-inch (15-cm) circle about 1⁄8 inch (3 mm) thick. Place 1⁄4 to 1⁄3 cup (52 g) filling inside a circle, brush the edges with the egg wash, fold over the dough, and crimp the edges together. Place on the baking sheet, brush with more egg wash, and sprinkle with paprika. Repeat with the remaining dough pieces. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the empanadas are golden brown. Let cool slightly before serving. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 days.

The Homemade Flour Cookbook

Have you heard? Milling at home can be less expensive and healthier than buying pre-ground flours! Much of the flour that is sold in grocery stores has been stripped of its nutrients and has extra ingredients and preservatives added to prolong shelf life. Not only that, but some flours, like almond, can run as high as $15 per bag! There has to be a better way.

There is with The Homemade Flour Cookbook. Erin Alderson explores the different ways to grind flour including electric and non-electric grinders, food processors, blenders, and even coffee grinders, making it easy for any do-it-yourself homemaker to have fresh flour whenever needed.

Try out great grain recipes like Cheddar Rosemary Farro Scones, Zucchini Feta Empanadas, Einkorn Biscuit Cinnamon Rolls, and Black Pepper Pasta with Goat Cheese and Pesto. There are also dozens of gluten-free recipes. Check out Cheddar Jalapeño Quesadillas with Quinoa Tortillas, Berry Crisp with Oat Dumplings, or Buckwheat Dutch Baby with Maple Cherries! There are even recipes for legume, nut, or seed flours. Flatbread with sun-dried tomato dip and Feta and Curried Red Lentil Dip are just a few of the recipes that you’ll make with your own hand-milled flour!