About the Recipe
125 Battered: A Whipped and Sipped Mystery
That night, Brianne invited the sixth-floor neighbors for dinner, including Joan, who didn’t answer her phone or respond to Brianne’s text. Elderly neighbor, Gloriadine declined, explaining that the funeral had exhausted her for the day. Alene vowed to have Kacey join them instead of sitting alone in her room but she wasn’t sure how she was going to manage it.
Brianne was planning to order in, but Ruthie dropped off a tray of frozen sweet potato-black bean empanadas with fresh garlic bread, a big salad, and a jar of her homemade, garlicky salad dressing.
Alene decided to send Sierra to get Kacey, who wasn’t responding to texts. It was a chance, but Sierra could be very persuasive. Quinn and Noah were reading comic books on the couch in front of Brianne’s coffee table while Alene and her father joined Brianne at her round kitchen table.
Sierra rushed back into the kitchen looking flushed. “Joan just screamed at me,” she said in a hushed tone. “It was unbelievably scary.”
Brianne gulped and Cal covered his mouth in surprise. “What did she say?” Alene asked. How dare she scream at a child?
Sierra reported the story as if it had been a big adventure. “She opened the door and said, ‘Get away from me, you little shit. I’ve had just about enough from all of you.”
“Oh, my goodness,” said Cal, “kindness really doesn’t come naturally to that woman.”
Brianne shook her head. “She’s in mourning. We should be patient with her – but who talks that way to a little girl?”
“I’m nearly twelve-and-a-half. I’m not exactly a little girl,” said Sierra with a sigh.
3 cups all-purpose or bread flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 TBSP apple cider vinegar
¾ cup ice cold water
1 cooked medium sweet potato
1 cup black beans (reserve some of the liquid from the can to moisten the filling)
1 red pepper (or poblano if you want heat) roast, remove seeds and membrane, chop
1 teaspoon cumin seeds (toss in heated pan until fragrant, or use powdered cumin)
1/3 cup chopped scallions
2 or more tablespoons chopped cilantro (use parsley if someone hates cilantro)
½ to 1 teaspoon chili powder (depending on how much heat you want)
1/2 teaspoon salt
Use a food processor to pulse together flour, baking soda and salt
Add in oil, cold water, and vinegar: pulse 2-4 times just to combine
Remove from the food processor and form into a loose ball
Wrap in plastic and place in refrigerator for at least one hour
Mash the sweet potato with the rest of the ingredients (add more liquid from can if needed)
Remove the dough from the fridge, divide and shape into 8 equal balls
On a lightly floured surface, roll each ball of dough into an approximately 5” circle
Spoon about 2-3 TBSP of the sweet potato mixture onto each circle
Moisten edges of the dough with water and fold over the filling
Seal edges with a fork on both sides
Place on a large greased baking sheet (or parchment paper/silicone mat)
Cut diagonal slits across each empanada and bake at 400° 15 minutes until golden
Great for appetizers (Serve 2-3 per adult with salad, guacamole and salsa for dinner)
Recipe also works with store-bought pie dough