It is vitally important that the plantains are just ripe (yellow with black mottling), as overripe black plantains are too starchy to wrap the beans.
Heat a little vegetable oil in a frying pan, add the onion, garlic, chilli, green pepper and cumin and cook over a low heat until tender. Add the beans and
Peel the plantains, then blend in a food processor until they come together as dough. Remove, add the flour and roll the dough in lightly oiled hands into eight equal-sized balls. Roll out the dough balls with a rolling pin to about 1 cm thick. Fill each of the rolled dough balls with a good spoonful of the black bean mixture and fold over carefully to form pasties, crimping the edges with your thumb and finger to seal. Prepare all the same way. Refrigerate until required.
For the green rice, place the onion, chilli, garlic, coriander and half of the stock in a food processor, blend well until smooth and season with a little salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a heavy-based pan and add the rice, stirring constantly for 1 minute. Add the green stock and the remaining vegetable stock, bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat but keep covered, allowing the rice to steam for a further 5 minutes.
For the salsa, mix all the ingredients together in a bowl and season to taste.
Heat 5-7 cm of vegetable oil in a deep-fat fryer or large pan to about 160°C/325°F, add the empanadas and fry for about 2-3 minutes until golden. Transfer to kitchen paper to drain. Serve the empanadas on a bed of the green rice, with the cool tasting salsa alongside and garnish with the coriander leaves and a good dollop of the sour cream, if desired.
© 2006 Paul Gayler. All rights reserved.