Saturday, October 3, 2009

Day Three

For breakfast, I had a plain bagel with amazing cream cheese. I mixed a spoonful of Follow Your Heart's cream cheese alternative with a pinch of powdered sugar, a pinch of cinnamon, a pinch of chopped walnuts, and a little drizzle of agave nectar. It was pretty awesome.

Next, I cracked open a beer and began cooking empanada filling. I think it is totally acceptable to drink at whatever hour while cooking, as long as what you're cooking is going to take a few hours of kitchen time. I mean, don't get sloppy and start a fire or anything, but. You know.

I didn't really have a recipe to go by for any of the fillings, and if I'm making something without a recipe, I don't really measure anything. But, I made three fillings, and they were something like this:

Empanada filling #1: Sweet corn, diced onion, diced red bell pepper, cinnamon, kosher salt, fresh black pepper, a few (like, ten) raisins. All sautéed and then half of it blended in a food processor and then mixed with the part that I had not blended together.

Empanada filling #2: Sautéed seitan, diced onion, diced red potatoes, fresh black pepper, cumin, liquid smoke, cayenne pepper, a Serrano pepper, some vegetable broth. Sautéed everything and then smushed it up a little bit with my hands.

Empanada filling #3: Two honey crisp apples peeled and diced, a tablespoon of Earth Balance, a tiny handful of light brown sugar, a light dusting of cinnamon, a pinch of Jamaican allspice, about a teaspoon of granulated orange peel, a splash of lemon juice.

Making empanadas was really fun and easy. My friend Efrain invited me and the mister and our friend Troy over to make them, and he showed us how to make the dough and how to make the empanadas and fry them. The dough was super easy and didn't involve any measurements whatsoever. Basically you just throw a lot of all-purpose flour into a big bowl and add a combination of water and olive oil that has been heated up, and you combine it all together with your hands until it's just right - not too sticky, not too crumbley. Then you take a chunk of it, flatten it out with a rolling pin, use a bowl to make a circle, and make a plate of dough circles. Then you have someone in the kitchen scoop a spoonful of each filling into the empanada, fold it in half, and seal the dough up. Then you fry it up. We made about forty empanadas.... it was amazing. I have them in the freezer now and they're going to be awesome when I come home from work and am sleepy and want a quick dinner - an empanada with some soup would be delightful, I think.

Here are some pictures of us being ridiculous and making empanadas:

Corn filling, before it met its death at the food processor.

Troy in one of my aprons. He wore it the entire time we made empanadas, because he is amazing.

Efrain wearing another one of my aprons. Adorable!

Making faces in the kitchen, with Troy hiding in the background.

Efrain and Chiv... I think I told them to look like they were doing something exciting.

I asked Chiv to pick up some seitan for me while I was at home cooking and he was running errands. He came back with this amazing doll. Daniel Chiavaroli is a dreamboat.


Jeni Treehugger said...

Looks like you had an awesome day. And I LOVE empanadas!

Anonymous said...

This is awesome. All y'all are awesome. I heart your blog.