I should be making soups.
It is a nippy 23-27 degrees cold here. Can you believe I am still getting up at 6am for my morning workouts? Yes, since it has started getting busy in the evenings I need my morning workouts most of all.
You know what I have not been able to do? Green Smoothies have fallen short in my kitchen. I have all the good intention of making them but then I think of something warm going down so I make a regular breakfast. Ryan enjoys oatmeal and I have my protein breakfast with tofu scrambles or omelettes, I just need to make sure to add sauteed veggies.
I notice that one of the hardest things to do during the winter is to eat well. Even though I have produce at home, baking and cooking my normal fare has not been as consistent. I look forward to January where the pace has calmed down a bit.
How are you doing eating healthy during the winter evenings?
Last night I spent making pumpkin sauce / butter from leftover pumpkins so that I could give them as Christmas gifts. Yes, how much more time do I have? Not much. I knew for a fact that baking cookies this year was going to be out of the question but I at least wanted to get something done.
It was wonderful smelling the blend of pumpkin with brown sugar, cinnamon, cloves, oranges, and more wafting through the house. I went to bed happy. In fact I think the smell lulled me to sleep.
One of my favorite meals I used to eat at my Chilean grandmother’s home were Empanadas, or otherwise known as savory meat pies. These were such a special meal served and was usually prepared during the holidays or for special occasions. This is similar to the Mexican tradition when dealing with tamales.
Empanadas are usually the ideal comfort food. It is a flaky buttery crust with a savory and delicious filling. It is ideal Latin comfort food.
The key to the flavors for this Chilean empanadas is the pino, which is a seasoned filling with added fillings like raisins, hard-boiled eggs and black olives. What an interesting combination but SO delicious!
Another important factor is the dough. The dough has to be flaky, becasue with each bite you have a perfectly baked crust with some seasoned beef and raisins and black olives. Obviously I was going to have to leave out the hard-boiled eggs, but I knew that the lack of the eggs would not alter the flavors of the empanadas.
Ryan thought the flake crust was perfect and the filling flavorful. The recipe is a keeper and it will be something I will pass onto our future kids.
Yield: 10-12 empanadas
adapted from The South American Table
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/4 cup all-vegetable shortening (Spectrum)
- 3/4 cup warm milk
- 1 pound ground beef
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 2 onions, chopped (about 2 cups)
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 Tablespoon arrowroot or cornstarch powder
- 20 medium pitted black olives
- 1/2 cup seedless black raisin, soaked for 5 minutes and drained
- 3 hard-boiled eggs, diced
- In a food processor, put the flour, salt, and baking powder and with a fitted steel blade pulse for 5 seconds.
- Add the shortening and butter and process until the mixture looks like coarse meal, about 15 seconds.
- While the machine is running, pour the milk through the feed tube in a steady stream and process until the dough almost comes together into a ball.
- Remove from bowl and knewad a few times and let rest for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare pino filling.
- Roll dough into a long log and cut dough into 10-12 pieces.
- Heat olive oil in a medium frying pan and saute' onions for 5-7 minutes until transparent.
- Add beef and garlic and cook for 5 more minutes.
- Add seasonings and cook for 3 more minutes.
- Add vegetable broth and simmer until liquid almost evaporates (5 minutes).
- Add arrowroot powder to beef mixture and cook until mixture thickens.
- Take one piece of dough and roll into a 6-inch circle.
- Add 1-1 1/2 Tablespoons of beef filling.
- Add a few raisins and one black olive and a piece of hard-boiled egg.
- Take one side of the dough and bring to the front side of dough to enclose the filling sealing the ends and folding the excess dough and sealing upwards.
- Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Repeat with the rest of the dough.
- Use 1 egg and beat well.
- Brush some egg wash over the empanadas.
- Brush over empanadas.
- Bake for 20 minutes and remove from oven and turn each empanada over and baking on the opposite side for 5 minutes.
- This is will brown the tops a little.