T-Day leftovers: Gluten-free empanadas and mole, ole

I recently returned from a trip to Santa Fe, Taos and northern Arizona with visions of Southwestern-style Thanksgiving leftovers in my head.

Pie, left-over pie, and any other leftovers, are my favorite Thanksgiving foods, so I thought I would share a recipe for potato-cheese empanadas (although this crust could be filled with turkey, rice and gravy, a vegetable and cheese medley, sweet potatoes and wild mushrooms, etc.) and a luscious pumpkin mole (that's mole-ay) sauce to serve over sliced turkey.

Buen provecho! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Gluten-free Pie Crust

8 empanadas

Two 9-inch single crusts or one

2-crust pie

(DuBois Health Foods in Carson City carries gluten-free flours & Xanthan gum)

1 cup brown rice flour

1⁄3 cup tapioca flour

2⁄3 cup potato starch

2 tablespoons sweet rice flour

1 tsp. Xanthan gum

1⁄2 tsp. salt

1 cup (2 sticks) canola-based margarine

1 egg, cold

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons ice water

2 tablespoons orange juice, chilled

Sweet rice flour, for rolling out - about 1⁄2 cup

Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Cut in the margarine with a pastry cutter. In a medium bowl, beat the egg, then mix in the vinegar, ice water and orange juice.

Make a well in the dry ingredients, pour in the liquids, and mix together gently. I find that in our dry climate, a little more ice water is usually necessary. The dough should be tacky to the touch, but not overly sticky.

Wrap the dough in sweet-rice floured plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. More is better, and overnight is OK, too.

Filling for 8 Potato-Cheese Empanadas

4 cups of your favorite mashed potatoes, on the dry side

2 cups shredded Colby jack

1⁄4 cup grated Romano cheese

4 scallions, sliced and including some of the greens

Heat and mix this together.

When you are ready to roll the dough, preheat the oven to 375 degrees and place 1 large sheet parchment paper on a smooth surface. Flour it with sweet rice flour.

Cut eight 8-inch squares of parchment paper. Cut the dough into

8 equal pieces and roll out each one into a circle on a (rice-floured) individual square with a rice-floured rolling pin.

Put a generous 1⁄2 cup of the potato mixture on the half of each pastry circle that is closer to you. Use the parchment square to fold the farther pastry half toward you over the filling. Crimp the edges of the empanada together and transport it, on the parchment square, to a baking sheet.

When all the pastries are filled and on the baking sheet(s), pierce them in 2 or 3 places with a fork and brush them with egg wash, if desired (1 egg mixed with 1 tsp. water) for browning.

Bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes.

I like to serve these with sliced turkey covered with pumpkin mole sauce (recipe follows) and of course, a big spoonful of left-over cranberry sauce.

Pumpkin Mole

(about 3 cups)

2 cups chicken stock

6 whole cloves

1⁄2 cinnamon stick

1 tsp. sesame seeds

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 cloves sliced garlic

1⁄2 cup chopped onion

6 dried apricot halves

3 pitted prunes

3 dried red chilis, stemmed and seeded

1 cup cooked, pureed pumpkin

2 oz. bittersweet chocolate

Salt to taste

Toast the cloves, cinnamon stick and sesame seeds in a dry skillet. Allow them to cool slightly, then grind them in a food processor or coffee grinder and reserve.

Saute the onions in the olive oil until they are transparent; add the garlic slices and saute for 1 minute longer. Place all the ingredients, except for the chocolate, in a large saucepan and simmer together for 40 minutes. Puree the sauce in a food processor or with an immersion blender.

Add the chocolate and, when it is melted, the sauce is ready to serve.

• Susan Hart has been cooking gluten-free for 15 years. She teaches continuing education classes in gluten-free baking at Truckee Meadows Community College and can be reached at glutenfree.hart@gmail.com.


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