Tuesday, March 18, 2008


Yeah, yeah, excuses, excuses.
Four weeks of doubles at work kinda threw me off a bit so I’ve been a bit neglectful.

But, for fun, here’s an idea for making the Best Empanadas Ever.

Empanadas with Chimichurri Sauce

All you need:
· Puff Pastry (found in your grocer’s freezer)
· Flour
· Water
· Your choice of filling

· Fresh Parsley
· Fresh Cilantro
· Some sort of acidity (Think Red Wine Vinegar or Lime Juice)
· Something Hot (Think Red Pepper Flakes or Tabasco)
· Salt
· Pepper
· Olive Oil

All you need to do:
· Preheat the oven to 375 F.
· Defrost the Puff Pastry. The box will contain two sheets giving you about 18 Empanadas total.
· While the Puff Pastry is defrosting, get to work on your filling. For these pictures I used seasoned (cooked) ground beef with some Mexican style cheeses. Think outside the box! Use proteins! Use veggies! Use all cheese! The choice is yours!
· When the Puff Pastry is defrosted: Throw a little flour on your counter (um, make sure it’s clean first!). Slightly roll out the dough. If it’s too soft or gummy, throw it in the fridge for a few minutes to chill it.

· Cut the dough into nine equal square sections. (The dough came folded into thirds, so this is easy!). Brush off the excess flour.

· Place your chosen filling on ½ of the dough.
· Wet the edges of the squares with water and seal with your fingers. The water will help keep the dough sealed.

· Press with a fork to make it look pretty.
· Bake for about 15 minutes, or until the infamous Golden Brown Delicious.

For the Sauce:
· Rinse the parsley under water, shake it out, rip off a handful and put it in a food processor.
· Rinse the cilantro under water, shake it out, rip off Half a handful and put it in a food processor.
· Throw in about a Tbsp of your chosen acid.
· Throw in something a ½ tsp of something spicy.
· Throw in about a tsp of salt and ½ tsp of pepper.
· Turn the food processor on and grind until the fresh herbs are chopped pretty well.
· With the food processor running, slowly add about ¼ Olive oil, or until you have a beautiful green sauce.
· Season further with salt and pepper as needed.

Easy money, right? Here’s the secret: cooking is pretty easy. You know what you like to eat, so cook what you want! Practice once a week by cooking WITHOUT a recipe. Experiment and, most importantly, have fun!

Shoot me a comment with your perfect filling ideas! In the meantime, here are a few more:
· Caprese! Tomatoes, Mozzarella and a basil olive oil dipping sauce
· Chicken with Boursin Cheese
· Left over Beef Stew! (I’m not kidding, this works really well!)
· Chicken, Green Chilies and Cheese. Dip in Salsa!
· Roasted herbed Portabella Mushrooms and Zucchini
· Wellington: Filet and sautéed Mushrooms

The list is virtually endless!