Tag Archives: raisins

Pocket Meat Pies AKA Empanadas

These wonderful pocket pastries have multiple incarnations among several cultures. Our Savory version are a recipe that is typical from Spain and the former colonies  South America. Seasoned browned meat meets the sweetness of cumin raisins and the right touch of chopped olives.  Look for pre- made pastry dough in the ethic section of the frozen food aisle or  make 2 large ones with prepared pie crusts . Can’t find empanada rounds? Get frozen pizza dough and cut 12 equal squares.  Stretch a tad to get a 5 inch square and follow recipe to make lovely triangle- shaped empanadas .ENJOY!

Ingredients ( for 1 dozen or two large pie crust size)

1 1/2 pound ground lean meat
1 large onion chopped
3 Tbls canola oil
1/4 cup of raisins soaked in 1/4 cup water
10 green olives, chopped
1 1/2 TBSP cumin
2 Hard Boiled eggs, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
1 egg beaten for wash  
1 package empanada rounds or 2 pie crusts (*)

 

In a large skillet on medium high heat brown meat with cumin. Remove meat from pan, keep the drippings and add the oil and chopped onion. Cook till onions are translucent but not brown. Turn heat to low and add chopped olives, the raisins. stir in well. Turn off heat and add salt and pepper to taste. Let cool, then gently add the chopped eggs.

Meanwhile preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Take dough out of package  and fill each round with 2  Tbsp of mixture. Moisten edges using your fingertip dipped in water.  Fold each round in half and seal either by braiding the edges, by squeezing or pinching in a zig-zag fashion with your fingertips, or by pressing down with the prongs of a fork. Place pies on a baking sheet and brush on egg-wash. 
Bake in the oven for 25 minutes or till  edges are golden. Remove from oven , let sit for 5 minutes s and serve . Enjoy as part of a tapas display with  a lovely Spaniard Tempranillo or an interesting Argentinean Malbec .

(*) please pay attention to ingredients for food allergies.
Can’t find empanada rounds? Get frozen pizza dough and cut 12 equal squares.  Stretch a tad to get a 5 inch square and follow recipe to make lovely triangle- shaped empanadas . ENJOY! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tomatoes Stuffed With California Style Chicken Salad

 

This is a wonderful dish to serve as an appetizer, or as a light lunch and it “brown bags”  very well!

Make up to two days ahead for a party and chill in plastic covered trays. We tried many chicken salad recipes but they were all bland once placed in the tomatoes.  

Finally, we tried it ” california style” with fresh red grapes and it was PERFECT! . Grapes not in season? Try using California raisins instead , you will still get the hint of sweetness to the salad that makes it satisfying and unique.

The recipe is great for using “less than perfect”  tomatoes; once the salad is in they will look scrumptious !

 

Ingredients:

8 medium size tomatoes

For The Salad:
2 cups cooked chicken breast, finely chopped
1 cup California seedless grapes, quartered
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1 tablespoon chopped shallot
1 cup canola oil mayonnaise
Salt & pepper to taste

Mix the chicken with the rest of the ingredients, remember to taste for salt & pepper before adding the mayo. Let it rest in the fridge for 30 to 45 minutes so the flavors blend.
Meanwhile, cut the tops off the tomatoes and remove the core. Turn the tomatoes upside down to drain any remaining liquid ( about 15 minutes).
Fill the tomatoes with the mix and return to the fridge for 10 minutes or until chilled . Serve over a bed of mixed greens or white rice salad Click here to see recipe for Tuscan Rice Salad .