Category Archives: appetizer

beef empanadas

yield: ~18 empanadas
time: 60 min total

empanadas

ingredients

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • Olive oil, about 1-2 TBSP
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1/4 yellow bell pepper, minced
  • 1/4 orange bell pepper, minced
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 10-12 small green Spanish olives, pitted, chopped (optional)
  • 2 TBSP Uruguayan Adobo* or about 1.5 TBSP dried oregano, 1 tsp dried parsley, 1/4 tsp dried red pepper flakes (Uruguayan adobo is a mixture of oregano, parsley, red pepper flakes, and other herbs)
  • 2 tsp salt (and more, to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
  • 1 tsp Smoked Paprika
  • 2 TBSP tomato paste
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 egg yolk for painting
  • Empanada wrappers– the kind for baking, not frying (La Salteña** Hojaldradas para hornear are best)

preparation

A few hours before, take the empanada dough out of the freezer and let it come to room temperature. They should not be cold, because the dough is harder to work with when too stiff.

Cook ground beef over medium heat in a pan, breaking it up and stirring as it cooks. When it’s almost done, remove from burner. Strain to get rid of fat and juices. Set aside. Pour off the rendered beef fat and juices.

Put pan back on heat, add olive oil. When oil is hot, add chopped onion and saute until almost translucent. Add bell pepper and sauté until soft and onions are just beginning to brown. Add garlic and stir for about 30 seconds to a minute. When garlic becomes fragrant, toss ground meat back in the pan. Cook, stirring until meat is done cooking and everything is nicely mixed. Season with adobo, paprika, salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat. Add tomato paste and stir. Taste again and adjust salt and pepper, if needed. Let cool.

Once lukewarm, toss in beaten egg and olives. Mix well.

Line 1 baking sheet with parchment paper.

Open empanada dough package. Take out one disc at a time. I like to hold the disc in the palm of my left hand, and using a tablespoon in my right hand, put about 1.5 TBSPs of filling onto the disc. (Leo prefers to lay out a bunch of the discs on a flat surface, and fill them. Whatever works for you is fine.) The amount you use can vary, just don’t overstuff the empanada or you won’t be able to seal it well. Leave about a 1/3- 1/2 inch border around edge. Moisten all around edge with water, then fold shell over filling. I seal my empanadas really quickly, like Chinese potstickers, but Leo uses the tines of a fork to press the edges all the way around. Place on parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat as many times as necessary. Pro tip — if your filling is super wet, you may want to cook your empanadas upright, like potstickers. If your filling is less juicy, place them on their sides.

Paint tops of empanadas with egg yolk. Place in 350 degree oven for 20-30 minutes. When empanadas are golden and beginning to flake, remove. I lift the entire sheet of parchment and slide it onto a cooling rack. Enjoy carefully, as insides will be significantly hotter than outsides. These are also delicious at room temperature as a snack or meal.

* You can sometimes find Uruguayan adobo in Latin markets or on Amazon
**You can find La Salteña wrappers here in San Diego at Andrés Cuban Market on Morena, Tropical Star on Balboa Ave, or at North Park Produce in City Heights. They are Argentina’s best-selling empanada wrapper. My Uruguayan husband and I like them better than Goya brand for the flakiness of the dough and get consistently good results. We always buy the Hojaldradas para hornear as we do not have a deep fryer.

fig jam

fig jam with chevre

Fig jam with chevre

2 lb peeled figs (diced)
3/4 cup sugar
1/8- 1/3 cup lemon juice (I like mine to taste really bright, so I used 1/3)
1 stick cinnamon
3 whole cloves

Boil it all for 30 mins in a pot with a heavy/ thick bottom, stirring occasionally to ensure the bottom doesn’t scorch.

My jam was very light in color because I used Janice kadota figs (light green on the outside, pale pink on the inside).  If you use other varieties, your jam may be darker.

garlicky sautéed mushrooms

ingredients

  • 1 pound wild or cultivated mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • Coarse sea salt, preferably fleur de sel

preparation

  1. Trim stems off cleaned mushrooms and cut caps into bite-size pieces. Very small mushrooms can be left whole.
  2. Set a 10- to 12-in. frying pan over high heat. When hot, add olive oil, swirl to coat bottom, and add mushrooms. Sprinkle with salt and cook over high heat, stirring, until mushrooms stop giving off liquid and start to brown.
  3. Add garlic and cook, stirring, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in parsley. Serve on a platter and season with sea salt.
nutritional information
Calories: 59; Fat: 4.5g (sat 0.6g); Protein: 1.8g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 96mg; Fiber: 0.9g; Carbohydrates: 3.8g (n/a sugars)
yield: 4-6 servings (serving size: n/a)
time: about 30 minutes
source: My Recipes

shishito peppers with soy ginger sauce

ingredients

  • 2 tsp sesame oil divided
  • 1 lb shishito peppers
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger grated
  • 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs (optional)

preparation

  1. Add 1 tsp sesame oil to a large skillet or wok on the stove over medium-high heat. Add the shishito peppers and sauté for 10 minutes.
  2. Whisk the remaining 1 tsp sesame oil, soy sauce, honey, lime juice and ginger together in a small bowl to form the sauce.
  3. After the shishitos have sautéed for 10 minutes, pour the sauce over the shishito peppers.
  4. Reduce the heat to medium and continue to cook for 7-10 minutes or until peppers are tender and blistering on the outside.
  5. Optional toasted panko topping:
    1. Add panko breadcrumbs to a small skillet over medium-high heat. Allow to toast in the skillet for 5 minutes.
    2. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs on top of the shishito peppers and serve.
nutritional information
Calories: 68; Fat: n/a (sat n/a); Protein: n/a; Cholesterol: n/a; Sodium: n/a; Fiber: n/a; Carbohydrates: n/a (n/a sugars)
yield: 4 servings (serving size: n/a)
time: about 20 minutes

creamy corn empanadas

ingredients

1/2 onion, diced
1 TBSP butter
2 pinches kosher salt
2 cups frozen organic corn
1 TBSP sugar
1/4 tsp turmeric
2 TBSP yellow cornmeal
1 TBSP corn flour or all-purpose flour (to thicken it so that it doesn’t ooze out)
1 cup heavy cream
Fresh ground black pepper
1 egg yolk for painting
Empanada wrappers– the kind for baking, not frying (La Saltena is best)

preparation

In a saucepan over medium heat, sweat the onion in butter and salt until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the corn and cook over medium high for about 5 minutes. Sprinkle the corn with the sugar and turmeric and stir constantly for about 2 minutes. Sprinkle the cornmeal and flour on the corn, using a whisk to combine well. Add the heavy cream and cook until the corn has softened, about 2 to 3 minutes. Season with freshly ground black pepper.

Let filling cool, then follow these instructions:

Line 1 cookie sheet with parchment paper (in case of blowouts). Fill wrappers, fluting the edges or using a fork to seal them well. Paint with a beaten egg yolk (for color). Bake at 350 for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

nutritional information: not available
 
yield: 24 servings (serving size: 1 empanada)
time: 45 min
source: Alton Brown’s Better Than Grannie’s Creamed Corn recipe (for filling)

turkey empanadas

ingredients

1 lb ground turkey (you can substitute ground beef, chicken, etc.)
Olive oil, about 1-2 tbsp
3 slices onion, diced
10 red pepper strips, diced
2 large cloves garlic, minced/crushed
10-12 small green olives, pitted, chopped
Adobo to taste (I probably used about 2-3 tbsp) Uruguayan adobo is a mixture of oregano, parsley, red pepper flakes, and other herbs.
Salt/pepper to taste
1 egg, beaten
1 egg yolk for painting
Empanada wrappers– the kind for baking, not frying (La Saltena is best)

preparation

Toss ground turkey into hot pan (non-stick is best, medium to medium-high heat), breaking it up and stirring as it cooks. When it’s almost done (mine was mostly cooked except for spots that missed the pan), remove from burner. Strain to get rid of fat and juices. Set aside.

Put pan back on heat, add olive oil. When oil is hot, add chopped onion and red pepper (I like to add onion a couple of minutes earlier, but I don’t know that it makes a difference). Sauté until soft and beginning to brown, add garlic and stir for about 30 seconds to a minute. When garlic becomes fragrant, toss ground meat back in the pan. Cook, stirring until meat is done cooking and everything is nicely mixed. Season with adobo, salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and let cool.

Once lukewarm, toss in beaten egg and olives. Mix well.

Place empanada shells on flat working surface. Take a little handful of filling (practice makes perfect as to how much). Squeeze to drain remaining juices, then place on one half of shell, leaving about 1/2 inch border around edge. Moisten all around edge with water, then fold shell over filling. Seal well (I use the tines of a fork to press edge all the way around, which is quick, effective, and festive). Place on baking sheet (no need to grease). Repeat as many times as necessary.

Paint tops of empanadas with egg yolk. Place in 350 degree oven for 20-30 minutes. When empanadas are golden and beginning to flake, remove. Let cool. Enjoy carefully, as insides will be significantly hotter than outsides.

nutritional information: not available
 
yield: 24 servings (serving size: 1 empanada)
time: 45 min
source: n/a

sausage and velveeta spicy dip

ingredients

1 lb Velveeta Cheese, cubed
1/2 lb Spicy Pork Sausage (browned, crumbled and drained)
1/2 lb Ground Beef (browned, crumbled, drained)
1 Large onion, diced and sauteed
Pickled Jalapeno Peppers chopped, to taste (we use chipotle peppers in adobo)
1 can of Cream of Mushroom Soup (we didn’t use this)
1 can Mexican Stewed Tomatoes, chopped with juice (or regular tomatoes with adobo or salsa if it’s easier)

preparation

In a large dutch oven, cook the sausage and ground beef, drain well, set aside. In the same pot, saute onions until soft but not brown, set aside with meat. Add the cheese to the pot, stirring on low heat until melted. Add all other ingredients including the meat and onions. Stir until well combined. Pour into Crock pot, serve hot with Tortilla chips

nutritional information: not available
 
yield: N/A
time: 30 min
source: Regina