Monday, February 10, 2014

Chorizo and Potato Stuffed Empanadas with Avocado Cilantro Sour Cream

Happy Monday everyone!  Hope you all had a nice weekend.  They just fly by so fast, don't they?  We didn't do much.  Actually, other than a few errands, we barely left the house... and there was a reason for that.  Two words.  Walking Dead.  

AMC has been replaying all of the Walking Dead episodes.  We taped all of them and have been working our way through the series starting with the very first episode.  This show is nuts!  Can you imagine living in a world filled with "Walkers"?  It's so scary that sometimes I have to watch an episode of The Big Bang Theory before I go to bed.  You know, so I don't have bad dreams.  I'm a baby like that.  

I'm such a sucker for a good television series.  Dexter, Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad and Girls are just a few of my favorites.  It's even better when you have them taped or rented and you can just have a marathon and move right through them.  What are some of your must-see shows? 

While being lazy bums, I finally got around to writing this recipe for these empanadas that I made for the Super Bowl party we went to last weekend at our friends Rachel and Chris's house.  I just love chorizo and it is even better wrapped up in this flaky pastry dough with some ooey-gooey cheese.  They are time consuming but worth every minute.   

I like to get the potatoes started before the dough.  Remember to always cover the potatoes with cold water so they can cook evenly.

They are done when you insert a knife into the center, and it pulls out with no resistance

When making the dough, put the flour in first.  Cut the butter into small pieces then tear off small chunks of cream cheese.

After you pulse a few times, the mixture will resemble small peas.   Add the egg yolk and water.

Pulse a few more times and once it pulls away from the sides, it is ready.  Add more flour or cold water if needed.

Turn it out onto a floured surface and knead a few times to bring it together.

There's your disc of dough.  Wrap with plastic wrap and throw it in the fridge.  If doubling the dough (which you will need to do to use all of the filling),  repeat these steps again.  I do not suggest doubling the recipe because the food processor will get pretty crowded.

Make sure you get raw chorizo.

Take it out of the casing and brown.

Remove from pan then drain.

Prepare the veggies.

Throw them in the pan and saute.

Then add chorizo and potatoes back and mix.

Add seasoning...

Then cilantro.

Any cheese that melts well will pair nicely.

Prepare the rolling/stuffing station.

You want the dough about 1/4 inch thick.

I used a 3 inch round cookie cutter.  The top of a mug or large drinking glass would work as well.  You want them to be big enough to stuff.

Add the filling, cheese then brush edges with egg wash.

Fold over and pinch to seal edges.

Place on pan and brush with egg wash.

I prick a small hole on top with the tip of a knife so steam can release. I also dust with a a little kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper.

Mash avocado and make the sour cream dipping sauce.

Chorizo and Potato Stuffed Empanadas with Avocado Cilantro Sour Cream
makes about 48 empanadas, if dough recipe is doubled

*you can also use puff pastry but this dough is amazing... and easy to make
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
pinch of salt (I use kosher)
1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into pea size pieces
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
1 egg yolk
2-4 tablespoons ice cold water

I  ended up doubling this recipe as I had a lot more filling to use.  If doubling, make in 2 individual batches because you don't want to over crowd the food processor.  

If you don't have the energy to double the recipe, freeze the left over filling.  It would be great as a topping for a quick pizza or to toss with a pasta. 

Add the flour and salt into a food processor.  Cut butter into small pieces and place on top of flour. Using your hands, pinch off pieces of the cream cheese and add to flour until all 8 ounces is gone. Pulse about 5 times until the butter and cream cheese is mixed into the flour and the mixture resembles small peas.

Add egg yolk and 2 tablespoons of water and pulse 2-4 more times.  You want the mixture to form a ball of dough, pulling away from the sides. If the mixture is dry, add 1 tablespoon at a time and pule until the ball of dough forms.

Remove from the bowl and place onto a floured surface.  Knead a few times to create a smooth dough.  Don't over work this dough.  Work it as little as possible.  Form it into a disc, cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator until ready to roll.

4 small potatoes, peeled and cut into even chunks
1 pound uncooked chorizo
1 small onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 jalapeno (optional), minced
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2-3 tablespoons cilantro, roughly chopped

Peel potatoes and chop into large chunks.  Place in a medium sauce pan and cover with cold water.  Place pan on stove and turn heat up to medium-high.  Boil potatoes for 20 minutes, or until when you insert a knife into the center of a chunk and can remove it with no resistance.  Drain potatoes and set aside to cool.

Preheat large saute pan over medium heat.  Prepare/chop all vegetables.  Remove chorizo from casing and place into preheated pan.  With a wooden spoon, break up the meat and work it until fully cooked.  Remove from pan and drain on a paper towel lined plate.

Add onion, garlic, and jalapeno to the pan.  Cook until vegetables are soft.  Turn off heat.

Break up the potatoes by roughly chopping them and add them back to vegetables along with the meat.  Add paprika, oregano, salt, pepper and cilantro.  Once everything is mixed together, the filling is ready.

shredded cheese ( I used Chihuahua but Jack or Cheddar would work as well)
1 egg, beaten with 2 tablespoons of water

Preheat oven to 385 degrees and line cookie sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat.  Remove dough from refrigerator and cut disc into quarters.  Using one quarter of the dough, roll out onto a heavily floured surface until about 1/4 inch thick.  With a round cookie cutter (about 3 inches), cut rounds out of the dough.

Fill with 1 tablespoon of chorizo mixture and a heavy pinch of cheese.  Brush edges with egg, fold dough over and press edges to seal.  Prick a small hole in the top of the empanada with the tip of a knife to let steam escape.  Once sheet is full of empanadas, brush them all with the egg wash, sprinkle on some salt and pepper and place in a 385 degree oven for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown and puffed up.  

Avocado Cilantro Sour Cream
1/2 avocado, mashed with a fork
1 cup sour cream
1/2 lime, juiced
1/4 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
pinch of each salt and pepper

In a bowl, mash half of and avocado with a fork.  Add sour cream, lime juice, cilantro, salt and pepper.  Mix until combined.

Serve as a dipping sauce for the empanadas.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Potato Leek Soup

So last week, Matt and I decided to have a fun date night and we drove about 25 minutes to ZipCity, an indoor trampoline and zipline park.  It.  Was.  Amazing.  And exhausting to say the least.  For $15 on Thursday nights, you can zip and jump as much as your little heart desires (or until your 2 hours run up)!

We were minding our own business and jumping away on one set of trampolines when a swarm of kids busted in with foam dodge balls in hand. After getting pelted one too many times and unsuccessfully making contact with them, we switched to a new trampoline.   It was there where I decided to try and show off my high school cheerleading skills (ahem... which was over 10 years ago) and ended up pulling something in my leg.  It obviously wasn't that bad because I still continued to jump and zip for another hour but boy was I sore the next few days!

After our unconventional date night, we decided we need to do more out-of-the-box things together.  We felt like we were kids again and with the stress-filled life that comes with adulthood, it was just what we needed.

PS- I also made soup.  A pretty classic one and it was simply delicious.  

Mmmm... bacon

When you slice the leeks in half, be sure to wash the layers out with water.  Nobody likes sand and grit in their soup!

Leeks lend a mild onion flavor

Chop up all of the veggies

Cook the bacon

Remove from pan and drain

Add the veggies right to the pan, bacon grease and all

I used Yukon gold potatoes but you can use any kind.

Add them to the veggies and cover with stock

Simmer for at least 30 minutes

I like to put half of the soup in the blender for a thicker consistency but still keep some chunks

Return blended soup to pan and add half & half and parsley.  Top with crumbled bacon.

Potato Leek Soup
5 slices of bacon, chopped
3 leeks, halved then thinly sliced
3 carrots, diced
3 ribs celery, diced
1/2 onion, diced
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
6-8 potatoes, peeled and diced
8 cups low sodium chicken stock
1 cup half & half
3 tablespoons flat leaf parsley, chopped

Preheat a stock pot over medium heat.  Chop vegetables and slice bacon into small pieces.  Add bacon to pan and cook until crispy.  Remove from pan and drain on a paper towel.  Leave the rest of the bacon fat in pan.

Add leeks, carrots, celery, onion, salt and pepper to pot.  Stir to coat with bacon fat and cook for about 5 minutes.  Add potatoes and stock.  Increase heat to medium high and bring mixture to a low boil.

 Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 30 minutes or until potatoes are soft.  If you insert a paring knife into the center of a potato and it comes out with no resistance, then the potatoes are fully cooked.

Spoon about 2/3 of the soup into a blender (in batches) and blend.  I like to have a few chunks of vegetables in the soup.  Remember when you blend something hot in a blender, it expands so remove the plug on the top and cover with a dish towel so some steam can escape.

Return blended soup to the pan and add half & half and parsley.   Serve with crumbled bacon on top.

A few glimpses from ZipCity (taken with my iphone):

And this is when I most likely pulled my hamstring... at least I'm smiling though!

Pin It button on image hover
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...