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The Times
  • Jennifer Mastroianni: Celebrate the Cinco with Fiesta Empanadas

  • When it comes to Mexican food, tacos, fajitas and burritos easily top the list of American favorites. But if you are cooking to celebrate Cinco de Mayo on Saturday, don’t be so quick to overlook the tasty empanada.

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  • When it comes to Mexican food, tacos, fajitas and burritos easily top the list of American favorites. But if you are cooking to celebrate Cinco de Mayo on Saturday, don’t be so quick to overlook the tasty empanada.
    Translated from Spanish, empanada means “to bake in pastry,” and these savory turnovers are generally made with a cornmeal pastry crust and a meat and vegetable filling. Think of them as a calzone, Mexican style. The simple treats are a great way to spice up your May 5 party menu.
    FIESTA EMPANADAS
    Cornmeal crust:
    2 cups all-purpose flour
    1 cup yellow cornmeal
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, cut into 1-inch pieces
    6 tablespoons water
    Filling:
    1 pound ground beef
    1 clove garlic, crushed
    3 scallions, chopped
    1/4 cup taco sauce
    1/4 cup pitted black olives, chopped
    4 teaspoons Tabasco green jalapeño pepper sauce, divided
    1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
    1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 cup shredded Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
    1 large egg, beaten
    Preheat oven to 375 degrees. For crust: Combine flour, cornmeal and salt in medium bowl. Cut in butter until mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle in water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until dough sticks together. On lightly floured surface with lightly floured rolling pin, roll out half of dough until 1/4-inch thick. Cut dough into two 7-inch rounds. Repeat with remaining dough and scraps. Cover; set aside.
    For filling: Cook ground beef and garlic in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until beef is browned on all sides, stirring occasionally to break up beef. Stir in scallions, taco sauce, olives, 3 teaspoons green jalapeño pepper sauce, oregano, cumin and salt until well blended. Stir in cheese.
    Grease large cookie sheet. Spoon about 1/2-cup filling on 1/2 of each round, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Stir together egg and remaining teaspoon green jalapeño pepper sauce. Brush border with egg mixture. Fold dough over filling, pressing out air. Crimp edges with fork or fingers to seal. Place on baking sheet. Bake 25 minutes or until golden.  Serves 4.
    — Tabasco
    EIGHT 0’CLOCK FIESTA COFFEE
    Eight O’Clock Original Blend Coffee (enough to make 4 cups)
    1 teaspoons ground cinnamon
    2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
    1 tsp vanilla extract
    1⁄2 cup milk
    1⁄2 cup chocolate syrup
    Whipped cream
    Cinnamon sticks (optional, for garnish)
    Combine coffee and cinnamon, brew. In a saucepan, add milk, brown sugar and chocolate syrup and stir over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Pour the coffee into the saucepan and add vanilla, stir until combined. Divide the coffee mixture into 4 cups and top with a dollop of whipped cream. Garnish with a cinnamon stick.
    Page 2 of 2 - — Eight O’Clock Coffee
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