Okay, I didn’t write yesterday because I was in charge of Silent Auction at The Fairfield Museum’s IMAGES 2012 Fundraiser. We managed to raise almost $10,000 for their after school youth programs teaching impoverished children local history and culture. A fabulous program for kids!
So, Cinco de Mayo is tomorrow and it’s time to think about a few more yummy recipes! What do we have on the menu? It’s Pocket Beef Empanadas with Salsalad, Sweet Pepper Poppers and Ranch Dressing, and Fried Sopapillas with Fresh Cinnamon Honey Cream!
Let’s do it! Pocket Beef Empanadas are simple and fast! The pockets are made from Puff Party squares purchased from any major grocery stores. The filling is easy and quick:
1/2 lb. Ground Beef, 1 Tbsp Olive Oil, 1 Pat of Unsalted Butter, 1 Tsp of Ground Sweet Paprika, 1 Tsp of Ground Cumin, 1 Tsp Kosher Salt, 1 Tsp Fresh Ground Pepper, 1 Diced Yellow Onion, 2 Diced Cloves of Garlic, 1/2 Cup of Chopped Raisins, 1/2 Cup of Diced Green Olives, 1 Diced Red Pepper, 1 Can Crushed Tomatoes, 1/2 Cup of Ketchup.
In a pan on medium heat, add olive oil and butter, let sizzle then add onions and garlic. Add ground beef and cook for approximately 5 minutes. Add spices Cumin, Paprika, Salt and Pepper. Then add can of crushed tomatoes, lower heat, let simmer for approximately 10 more minutes. Then add Red Peppers, Raisins and Olives and Ketchup. Leave to simmer together on low heat for about 1/2 hour. Turn heat off to cool.
Preheat oven to 350F. Roll out on floured surface your puff pastry. Cut 3″ squares and add beef mixture, shape like a hobo’s pouch and place on grease cooking sheet. Fill sheet and stick in oven. Follow cooking instructions on puff pastry box.
Serve with Salsalad. Recipe in earlier blog – CLICK HERE. Apart from the perfect partnership, this little salad/dip will go with anything like baked potatoes or throw in some corn and make it a delicious side dish to any Mexican food buffet!
Now Sweet Peppers is my recipe. It is loosely based on the Jalapeño Poppers served in Sports Bars scattered across the US. But, the best way I can describe them is they are very ladylike.
You will need small sweet peppers, about 6-8, a little bit bigger than Jalapeños from your local grocery store. 1 packet of Philadelphia creamed cheese, 1/2 Cup shredded sharp cheddar, 1 Tsp of Smoked Ground Paprika, 1 Egg, 1 Cup of Flour, and 1 Packet of Panko Bread Crumbs, 3-4 cups of Canola (or vegetable) Oil.
Wash, slice down the middle and deseed peppers. Preheat oven to 350F. Bake peppers for 6-8, this is to precook before they go in fryer. Place in bowl creamed cheese, shredded cheddar, paprika and mash together.
Pour oil into a pot and heat until fry-ready.
Take 3 bowls: Scramble egg in 1 low bowl, place bread crumbs in another and flour in another. Take your peppers of oven, allow to cool to the touch. Then simply stuff peppers with the cheese mix. Roll in flour for first layer, then roll into egg, then bread crumbs. I would finish all of the peppers before frying.
Once oil is hot enough, fry for approximately 1-2 minutes. Because you pre cooked the peppers, it takes almost no time for the peppers to brown. Place fried peppers on plate with paper towels to towel off the extra oil.
Serve with Ranch Dressing! You’ll want to kiss me later! Deel-ish!
Now for the fried Sopapillas, you can use the same oil from that day. You will need flour tortillas, powdered sugar, honey, Cinammon, 1 Tsp of Vanilla, and fresh whipped cream.
Cut 4-6 flour tortillas, like a pizza, into 6-8 slices. Fry each piece in oil for approximately 1 minute, until each piece is slightly brown – do not burn these chips! Place on a paper towel to drain and cool. Place on a dish like nachos chips, drizzle a little bit of honey and sieve and sprinkle powdered sugar over top. For creamy dip, whip fresh cream together. Add 1 Tsp of honey, a sprinkle of Cinammon, and Vanilla.
Dip your sopapilla chips into creamy dip and Bob’s Your Uncle!
Buen Provecho Cinco de Mayo!