Ok so I am in a Latin state of mind. Not to brag, but I am going to Panama in February. So I am totes all about exotic food right now in anticipation of my travels. I mean don’t be jealous, you can get a taste of those countries at home with this muy rica comida! (translates to “very tasty food”, you silly goose). Anyway, I digress. Host a tapas night, or serve as a game time snack, or even pack some for lunch one day with a side salad. This is one delish dish that is worth the extra time. Oh and for those of you that don’t know what an empanada is: its a meat-filled pie. Portable, popular street food and just plain old yummy!
1 box Pillsbury refrigerated pie crusts (any puff pastry or pie dough would work this isn’t a shameless Pillsbury plug, Pepperidge Farm can get a holla too. Anyway, I made these two ways once with pie crusts and once with crescent roll dough to see which I liked better. Listen don’t judge Philly had a snowstorm and I had cabin fever & decided to keep busy by finding you guys the yummiest way to make these. No clear winner though: the crescent dough is harder to work with, but more fluffy. The pie crust was easier and flakier. So you decide whatever you like best. Ya, I have double the empanadas. So in reality I AM THE WINNER) & 1 egg, beaten
Chicken and Cheese Filling-
2 tbsp butter & 2-3 tbsp. flour (a roux)
1 medium Spanish onion chopped small
½ cup white wine (feel free to leave out if you don’t have any on hand).
2 chicken** pieces, skin removed & shredded/chopped. (I used a store bought rotisserie & kept the remaining for a chicken salad, obvi)
1 cup milk
1/2 cup Mexican blend, shredded cheese (maybe even less)
Salt and pepper to taste (garlic powder also because I am a freak)
**(Another option is to brown some ground turkey or ground beef with some taco seasoning and use that in place of the chicken. Get creative folks! Use what you have lying around…don’t be running to the store more than once a week if you don’t have to).
Anyway, back to the cooking part: heat the butter/flour (roux) & add the onions saute over medium heat until translucent, around 4 minutes. Add the white wine and allow to evaporate until ½ of the liquid is left and to deglaze the pan. Add the chicken & the milk, a little at a time until well incorporated and the sauce is thick. Mix constantly, lastly you can add in the salt and pepper to taste (I also added garlic powder).
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Remove pie crusts from pouches; place flat on work surface. With 3 1/4-inch round cutter, cut 8 rounds from each pie crust. I don’t have a cutter so I used a martini glass, because I am hood like that. Spoon filling evenly onto half of each dough round. Sprinkle shredded cheese over the filling. A pinch of cheese people, don’t over stuff the empanada. Brush edge of crust rounds with beaten egg. Fold crust rounds in half; press edges with fork to seal. Place on foiled cookie sheet. Brush tops with egg. Bake 14-17 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool & serve immediately.
While the empanadas bake, you can whip up this easy, beyond delish dipping sauce. Any person can serve it with store bought salsa, a real foodie, makes even the accompaniments fresh! Check out the avocado cream recipe under Sauce Boss.
We are way too grown up to still be doing easy mac from our good ole friends at Kraft. As enjoyable as that was in college, its time to realize an orange powder may not be the best thing to put into our bodies. This is just as quick, but with fresh ingredients. Oh and speaking of watching what we put into our bodies, this recipe is figure friendly because there is no butter and no heavy cream. Just simple, clean, and tasty.
14 oz. of macaroni elbows
2 cups shredded cheddar (get creative and do 1 cup fontina and 1 cup Gruyère or 1 cup of the cheddar and 1 cup of Monterey jack)
1 tsp Dijon mustard (umm so I did tablespoon not teaspoon because apparently I don’t know how to read and it was noticeably too tangy so don’t rush and read the measurements properly, lesson learned).
1 tsp salt
1 tsp parsley flakes (I just add this to almost any recipe I can because I think the little green flecks just brighten up a dish, in other words “optional”).
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/3 cup 2% milk
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
Boil elbows. Drain pasta in colander while reserving 1/3 cup of the cooking liquid. Return macaroni to pot and mix in the remaining ingredients over low heat (including the pasta water). Fold gently to melt and mix all ingredients.
I may throw in some pancetta next time to add another element slash make it more entree worthy vs. side dish. Plus let’s face it, pancetta would make it the grown up version of the throwback, when mom’s across America cut up hot dogs for us when we were kids & threw it in our mac & cheese.
Happy Eating, XO.
Casseroles. Yes, a one pot meal is extremely convenient, but it should also be appetizing. So coming from someone who hates leftovers, its pretty shocking that I have taken this to lunch the next day every. single. time.
1/4 cup light sour cream
5 oz. cream cheese
1 cup frozen corn
1 medium size Spanish or yellow onion chopped (this was my addition, added a depth of flavor and crunch the dish needed, however if you don’t have any or don’t like, feel free to exclude).
1 bag egg noodles
1 can (10 oz.) enchilada sauce (red not the green)
1 can (4-5oz) Rotel
1 taco seasoning packet (you can thank me again for this shortcut since original recipe calls out cumin, cayenne pepper, etc. all the stuff included in the taco seasoning pouch itself)
1 lb ground turkey (original calls for ground beef, but this is an easy way to cut fat & calories without sacrificing flavor)
2 cups (1 will go in the casserole 1 is for the top) shredded Mexican cheese (kids, that means: Monterey jack, cheddar, or Pepper jack combinations. Kraft even has a light Mexican blend that’s yum!)
Cook the pasta per the instructions (I used fusilli because the twirl grasps the sauce really well, but penne rigate would do the same or the egg noodles suggested).
Meanwhile brown the ground turkey meat with a packet of taco seasoning and the chopped medium onion in a tablespoon olive oil.
Drain the pasta and let the meat cool, then mix with the frozen corn, a can of the Rotel tomatoes (the one with the green chilies, trust me it won’t be too spicy. promise.), sour cream, cream cheese, enchilada sauce, and half of shredded Mexican cheese. Top with the remaining cheese and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until cheese has melted (since all components are already cooked).
This is hearty, filling, and flavorful. You know that I’m not lying either, because Mexican is my least favorite cuisine and yet I adore this mexi-fusion casserole. Serves 4-6 people.
While perusing the internet one rainy day, we recently came across this awesome food blog – How Sweet It Is. Not only does it have super tasty recipes and a bubbly personality we can’t resist, but she’s also a fellow Pittsburgh-er!
One recipe we just had to share with you is her Pomegranate Jeweled Cheeseball. I mean, just look at it. It’s almost too pretty to eat! (Almost.) And the bonus? Yummy and simple ingredients. We can’t wait to try this for the holidays!
Pull yourself together, putting out cheese cubes is so blasé. And since cheese to wine is like peanut butter to jelly, you’ll need a grown up way to serve it with your finest goblet of vino. This recipe is an easy modern twist on a traditional brie en croute. Its fancy enough to serve for your next holiday cocktail party or simple enough to make, for the next time Jess and I open up a bottle of our favorite pinot noir.
Peeled & sliced green apple (granny smith, kids).
Pecans (roasted, toasted, candied, salted, whichever you have lying around).
Drizzle of honey
Crescent roll dough
Pile & Roll per photo below & bake at 375 degrees for 11-13 minutes.
Note the crunch of the nuts, with the tart apple, with the sweet honey, and creamy brie is the perfect palette pleaser to your wine night. Best part is it compliments red or white wine which as many of you food & wine snobs know is very rare to have something accentuate both!
Feel free to check out no cookin’ good lookin’ for the italian horn recipe, another yummy cocktail appetizer!
Happy eating, XO.