Empanadas de Verde (em-pah-NAH-dahs deh VEHR-deh) are a staple food in the Ecuadorean diet. Made from green plaintains, empanadas de verde are usually eaten for breakfast, accompanied with a cafecito, or black coffee. These green plaintain patties are filled with cheese, but can also be filled with a ground beef and raisin mixture, which we will explore on later posts. Empanandas de Verde can also be served as a side dish, or even an appetizer, or a little snack.
Growing up, we used to eat them on a consistent basis. Plantains are fairly inexpensive and are a good source of vitamins A, B6 and C, as well as potassium. Our empanadas de verde are deep-fried in manteca (mahn-TEH-cah), a.k.a, lard – so throw all that goodness out the window! Since I don’t care much for deep frying, I panfry them for a few minutes on each side until they achieve a golden brown color and then put them in the oven for 10 minutes so the cheese melts. Enjoy!
Empanadas de Verde con Queso
6 green plantains
Water to cook the plantains
4 tbsp unsalted butter
salt to taste
Queso blanco for filling
Oil to panfry
Peel the plaintains and cut them in thirds. In a large stock pot, cook the plantains with enough water to cover them. Bring to a boil and cook for about 20 minutes, or until a knife inserted goes in with ease.
Once cooked, remove the plaintains from the water into a large bowl. Save the water. With a potato masher begin mashing the plaintains. While the plantains are still hot, add the 4 tablespoons of butter.