It’s officially summer, meaning it’s officially margarita and guac season. I mean, come on guys. Who doesn’t loooove fresh guac? So why not whip up a batch yourself to make with these spicy margaritas? Perfect for (every) Friday night, or get togethers, or movie night, or…you get the point.
Although Cinco de Mayo is behind us now, it doesn’t mean we can’t still break out the Latin food! I’m sure we all have some left over cilantro and lime juice, and this recipe will take care of just that. It’s a super refreshing dish that goes great with fish or served under grilled chicken.
1 cup white rice (cook according to box instructions)
1 cup fresh cilantro
4 tbsp lime juice (add more or less depending on your tastes)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic
While the rice is cooking, blend the remaining ingredients in a blender (or use my favorite little gadget, this multi chopper). Once the rice is done, combine both rice and herb mixture.
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.