Curry Seitan Jamaican Patties
Makes about 14 five to six inch empanadas
At last, a vegan tribute to those wonderfully spiced Jamaican patties (or empanadas, as my Latin sensibilities want to call them) wrapped in flakey yellow dough. Shredded seitan, little bit of potato and lots of spice fill these portable baked pastry pockets, great for any meal or a substantial snack. Enjoy with your favorite habeñero hot sauce and a tropical fruit smoothie any time of year for a warm breezy island feeling.
Make ahead tip: Prepare and keep the dough tightly wrapped for up to a week in the refrigerator. You can roll and cut out the dough circles, stack them between pieces of waxed paper and keep them chilled until you make the filling. The filling can be made 2 days in advance and chilled until ready to use.
- 2 cups all purpose flour, plus more for rolling
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 10 tablespoons chilled non-hydrogenated shortening
- 3/4 cup or more cold water
- 3 cutlets of Coriander seitan, grated or 2 1/2 cups of ground seitan
- 1/2 pound white potato, peeled and diced into 1/2 inch cubes
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 large yellow onion, peeled and finely diced
- 1/2 cup finely chopped shallots
- 1 or more hot chile peppers, finely minced or 1/2 teaspoon or more cayenne pepper
- 4 teaspoons Jamaican curry powder
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 2/3 cup vegetable broth
- 1/4 cup plain soy or almond milk for brushing patties
1. Prepare the dough first: in a food processor bowl pulse together the all purpose flour, whole wheat flour, turmeric, salt, and baking powder for a few seconds. Slice shortening into 1/2 inch chunks, add to food processor a few chunks at a time and pulse until everything resembles a fine sand-like crumbs. Pour flour mixture into a large bowl and stream in cold water while mixing with a rubber spatula. Continue adding just enough cold water until you can press the mixture into a clump of soft and stretchy dough. Separate into two balls and flatten each into a disc about an inch thick and wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Handle the dough minimally to keep it from getting tough. Chill overnight or for at least 1 hour.
2. To prepare the dough circles, tear 10 pieces of waxed paper about 7 inches wide and keep them near your workspace. Lightly dust a large rolling surface and a rolling pin with all purpose flour. Roll one of the dough discs about 1/4 inch inch thick, stretching and pulling the dough a little if necessary. To keep dough from getting too tough use only long rolling motions to flatten dough, occasionally lifting the dough by the edges and turning it a little to ensure even thickness throughout.
Using a 5 to 6 inch diameter bowl as a guide, run the edge of a sharp paring knife around the edge of the bowl to cut out circles. Or use a really huge round cookie or biscuit cutter. Stack circles of dough on top of one another, using small squares of waxed paper or plastic wrap to separate each piece to keep from sticking. Gather up all the remaining dough scraps, re-roll only one more time and cut out as many circles as possible. You should have minimum 14 circles, perhaps if you’re crafty you can manage one or two more rounds for a few extra patties. Chill finished dough rounds while preparing the filling or store in the refrigerator for up to a week, tightly wrapped in plastic to prevent drying out. Keep chilled until ready to fill and bake.
3. Place the diced potato in a large saucepan, cover with 3 inches of cold water and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Cook the potato for 10 minutes or until tender, drain and set aside. Grate the seitan on the largest holes of a box grater. The seitan will tear into soft crumbles, which is exactly how you want it. Finely dice any remaining stubs of seitan too small to grate.
4. Heat the vegetable oil in a large 12 inch skillet heat over medium heat. Stir in onion, shallots, and chile fry until onions are soft and juicy, about 4 minutes. Stir in grated seitan and cooked potato, fry for 2 minutes then sprinkle with curry powder, thyme, cumin, allspice and sea salt and fry for another minute. Pour the vegetable both over the seitan, simmer and stir constantly for 2 minutes until the liquid has been absorbed but the seitan is still moist and no remaining browned bit are on the bottom of the pan. Remove from heat, let cool for a few minutes and taste mixture, adding salt and black pepper to taste if necessary. Set aside until cool enough to comfortably handle. When ready to assemble patties preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Have handy the prepared dough circles, soy or almond milk and a pastry brush.
5. To assemble a patty, take a chilled pastry dough circle and gently stretch it slightly outwards by its edges and lightly brush with soy milk. Scoop a generous 1/4 cup of filling, adjusting the amount of filling as you make more patties; depending on the size of the dough circle’s you’ll see if you can fit in more filling. Place filling into the center of the circle and pat it over half of the circle; leave about 1/2 inch of space along the edge of the dough. It’s especially important to make sure this filling doesn’t spill over the edge; the wet filling can make crimping the edges a little tricky. Lift the side of the circle without filling and fold on top of filling, stretching and pulling it just enough for the edges to meet up to create a half moon shape. With your fingers press down the edges of the dough, then seal by firmly pressing the tines of a fork into the edges of the patty. Carefully lift and place on baking sheet, brush with plenty of soy milk and repeat with remaining dough circles and filling. Divide the filling equally among the number of dough rounds.
6. Bake patties for 28 to 32 minutes or until crust is golden and edges begin to brown. Allow them to cool for 5 to 10 minutes before serving as fillings will be extremely hot right out of the oven. To reheat either wrap in foil and bake at 350F for 8-10 minutes. Store leftovers chilled in a tightly covered container.