Servings: 4 Prep: 30 min Cook: 30 mins Total: 60 min
I went through a phase … possibly still GOING through that phase … where I used a lot of Kabocha Squash. It’s such an amazing vegetable to be used within a low-carb lifestyle. It’s difficult to really present it as the amazing vegetable it is. While it can be a bit of a challenge to find, I HIGHLY recommend seeking them out. They can be found in many Asian markets, year round, as well as many Farmers’ Markets, during the winter-time. A chopped cup of Kabocha squash runs only 6 net carbs per full cup, and it tastes a bit like a sweet potato. The rind is also quite tasty, even though I often cut it off (for appearance purposes).
In any event, in the midst of all this tinkering with these squashes, I found myself with a big pile of diced peeled squash (as any rampant low-carber might!) and … wanted to do something different. I thought about something I’ve seen down in Mexico a million times and thought a baked Empanada would make for the right fit! I ran into my computer and googled “Paleo Empanadas“. The first hit looked good enough! So, I ripped off the dough idea, made my own filling and VOILA!
Dough Note: These were TASTY little treats … almost TOO good, in fact. It would be a challenge to just eat one. However, the dough was a serious challenge to work with. I’m going to continue tweaking and modifying these and/or similar dough recipes to find something a little more cohesive. This worked and tasted fantastic, but it wanted to crack and split, merely by looking at it. It’s a VERY fragile dough, but … with time and patience, it can be molded into something yum (and it was!). Just be aware when working with this dough, that … it’s a fussy one!
Sweet Potato & Parmesan EmpanadasPrint Rate
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cups peeled and diced kabocha squash cubes (substitution = acorn buttercup, delicata, pumpkin)
- 1 cup parmesan cheese grated
- 1/4 cup real bacon bits
- salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
- For the dough, combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs and half of the olive oil. Add to the dry ingredients. Combine the wet mixture to the dry mixture and combine until a ball is formed. If the mixture is too dry, add a little more olive oil, until a nice ball is formed. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Heat a large non-stick sauté pan or skillet over medium high heat. Add the butter and olive oil to the pan and swirl it around. Before the butter burns, add the squash cubes and toss to coat with the hot fat. Season with a little salt and pepper.
- Sauté the cubes until they are soft and pick up a little color on the surface. Once cooked, remove and set in a mixing bowl. Set aside.
- I'm a big fan of rolling out dough between two silicone mats, VERY lightly dusted. An alternative is to place the dough on a piece of parchment or wax paper. Place a second sheet above the dough and roll it out. In both cases, this can be done with little to no extra flour for dusting (this is less true with wetter doughs). You can also just place the lump of dough on the coconut flour dusted counter top and roll to about 1/4-inch thick. I use the lid to my coconut oil bucket to cut circles in the dough, but you can use a large cookie cutter, or even just cut large squares. If you have extra dough, you can form a smaller ball of dough, roll it back out and cut it in the same format. You should have about 8 nicely sized sheets of dough.
- Add the parmesan and bacon bits to the cooked squash cubes and mix.
- Pre-heat the oven to 350 F.
- Evenly divide the filling between the sheets of dough, placing about 3 tbsp worth in the center of each sheet. Fold the sheets in half, crimping the two opposing halves together with your fingers, or the tines of a fork. Repeat this process until they are all formed.
- Place all on a greased baking tray. At this point, you can optionally brush the tops with an egg wash (1 egg + 1 tbsp water, whisked together). This will give the pastries a little sheen. I didn't do this, opting for the most rustic look, but ... it's an option.
- Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove and allow to cool for about 5 minutes. Serve!
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