Saturday, May 9, 2009

Friday night food

Key lime coconut cake, yummy!

In case you didn't realize, I've been out of touch with my blog lately. The reason for this being 1) I went on a two week vacation to Panama in the middle of April and 2) things have been a little stressful at work after 192 coworkers were laid off on Thursday.
But I'm here, and I'm ready to share with you a Friday night experience that took place the night before I flew to Panama. My roommate and I decided to invite some friends over to continue a semi-regular Friday night tradition of watching a few episodes of Freaks & Geeks (a Jud Apatow tv series that went off the air after one season). We'd come across some fabulous recipes and decided to make it a mexican-themed night.

Here's what was on the menu:

Since Liz had made the Mexican chicken soup before, she took the reins on that, while I made the empanadas and we both worked on the cake.

I searched through a few empanada recipes and kind of combined a bunch to come up with my final product. One thing that REALLY saved me was the use of Trader Joe's pre-made pizza dough. It's found in the refrigerated section and comes in plain, wheat and herb flavors. For the empanadas I used the plain.

Before working with the pizza dough I cooked the filling. The base of my recipe came from a chicken and chorizo empanada from Smitten Kitchen. Here's what I used inside:
1lb ground turkey
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
4 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 large onions, halved lengthwise, then cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch-wide strips
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 California (can also use 2 Turkish bay leaves )
1/3 cup finely diced Spanish chorizo (cured spiced pork sausage; 1 1/2 oz; casings discarded if desired)
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika (not hot)
1/4 cup chopped pitted green olives (I used jalapeno stuffed olives)
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 cup shredded mexican-blend cheese
3 bags of Trader Joe's pre-made pizza dough
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking. Sauté onions, garlic, and bay leaves in, stirring frequently, until onions are softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Add ground turkey and cook until turkey starts to lightly brown.

Add chorizo and paprika and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add olives, wine, and broth and bring to a boil, stirring and scraping up any brown bits. Reduce heat to moderately low and simmer mixture, covered, 25 to 30 minutes total.

Discard bay leaves. Season with salt and pepper, then cool filling, uncovered, about 30 minutes.

Form Empanadas: Put oven racks in upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat oven to 400°F. Divide dough equal pieces and form each into a disk. (The remaining dough can be stored in the freezer for future use.) Keeping remaining pieces covered, roll out 1 piece on a lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin into a 5-inch round (about 1/8 inch thick). Or if you find it easier to work with, stretch the dough with your hands.

Spoon about 2 tablespoons filling onto center, sprinkle some cheese on top and fold dough in half, enclosing filling. Press edges together to seal, then crimp decoratively with your fingers or tines of a fork. Transfer empanada to a baking sheet.

Lightly brush empanadas with some of egg wash and bake in upper and lower thirds of oven, switching position of sheets halfway through baking, until golden, about 25 minutes. Transfer empanadas to a rack to cool at least 5 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature. Recipe made about 18 hand-sized pockets.


The Key lime coconut cake was also from Smitten Kitchen and was probably the most popular plate of the evening. I won't type out the recipe because we didn't deviate from what was given to us, with the exception that we used Malibu coconut rum instead of plain rum in the glaze.

1 comment:

edwardmichellegarcia said...

Ohhhhh...fancy!! Double yum-o.