Well, hey there. Long time no blog.
I hope you’ll forgive my absence. It has been THE craziest two weeks since returning from a month in Texas, but at least it was worth it, since I just took over the lease for my New York City apartment! One of its many amazing attributes is a redone kitchen with LOADS of counter space, and new, FULL SIZED appliances. Such a find is only slightly unheard of, and I’m more than slightly in love. I’ve been told that it’s not possible or legal to marry a kitchen, but together, I truly believe our love can conquer.
Too much PDA?
Now, BEFORE meeting the kitchen of my dreams, I spent the month of June making music day in and day out. I mean that literally, because I was in rehearsal or practicing every day from when I woke up until I climbed into bed. And I also mean “climbing” literally, because my bed frame was set too high, so getting into bed required climbing onto my desk first. (Short people problems…) In my limited spare time, I was feeding my foodie soul, and feeding it well. Sure, my usual meals consisted of salad or oatmeal in the dining hall (which did, if you’re wondering, get old horribly quickly), but the rest of my meals resulted from convincing my oh-so-patient car-owning friend to drive me to some the best food joints in Houston.
I miss being at the festival and making great music with friends (I also miss the Mexican/Tex-Mex food in Houston – it’s kiiiind of the best – I’m talking to you, Torchy’s Tacos), but it’s quite nice to be back where the temperature is consistently below 100˚F. I REALLY have a whole new appreciation for summer on the East Coast. I got to relive the Texan weather a bit last week while running all around NYC in humid 95˚ heat, but otherwise, it’s quite luxurious to be able to walk from place to place outdoors without fear of melting. It’s also great to be back in the kitchen – not having one readily available is the slowest form of torture for me.
So, naturally, I filled the void by dreaming up a boatload of new summer recipes just for you. And this is the first of (hopefully) many.
I haven’t had many empanadas in my lifetime, but for some reason, the idea of dipping a flaky, doughy pocket of seasoned beef into a summery, fruity salsa just seemed very appealing the other day. Also, grilled fruit is one of my favorite summer foods, and I can guarantee you that this won’t be my only recipe this summer featuring it.
This recipe is probably one of my absolute favorites to date, and I will definitely be bringing it back. My parents and brother are my best taste testers (and also the most honest), so in accordance with their approval, I’m sure this would be a hit as an appetizer at the big, fancy dinner parties that I never have. But who knows, living in New York with a dining table that can sit six (generously) might change things for me.
This recipe is labor intensive, I cannot lie. But, the fruits of your labor will be well worth it at the end, I promise! And to me, food just tastes better when a little sweat went into it. Not literally.
Chipotle Empanadas with Grilled Peach Salsa Verde
Baked, not fried, with a perfect summer salsa for dipping.
- 2.5 cups whole wheat pastry flour
- 3/4 tsp. baking powder
- 1 and 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/2 cup + 1 tbs. cold water
- 1/3 cup + 4 tbs. olive oil
- 1 egg, beaten (to brush onto pastries before cooking)
- 1.5 lbs organic ground sirloin
- 1 cup cilantro, finely chopped
- 1/2 white onion, finely chopped
- 1/2-1 tsp. dried chipotle powder (depending on spice preference)
- juice of 1/2 lime
- 2 yellow peaches
- 1/2 jalapeño pepper, seeded and diced
- 1 lb. tomatillos
- 1/4 white onion
- 1/4 cup cilantro
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a food processor, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt.
- Alternate adding cold water and olive oil slowly, pulsing the food processor until a solid ball of dough is formed.
- Chill dough just until firm and ready to use, about 30 minutes-1 hour.
- While dough is chilling, brown the beef in a pan over low-medium heat. Break up the meat with a spoon until it's crumbly and browned on all sides.
- Add the chopped onion and cover until the onions are translucent.
- Add the lime, cilantro, and chipotle powder and stir to combine.
- Remove from heat.
- Separate chilled dough into 12 equal balls. Roll out each ball of dough into a thin, flat circle about 4.5 inches in diameter. Fill each circle with 2-4 tablespoons of filling. Fold dough over the filling to create a half moon. Pinch the edges with a fork, or fold over the dough from the corner to create a "twisted" edge.
- Arrange on a baking sheet and brush with egg wash. Bake for about 10-15 minutes, or until golden.
- Quarter both peaches and remove the pits.
- Place peach slices onto a hot grill or grill pan, and cook until soft and the skins are easily peeled off. Remove from heat. Once cool enough to touch, remove the skins.
- Remove the tomatillos from their husks and rinse, and then cut each into quarters.
- Sauté the tomatillos until they become very soft and form a "jam." Let cool.
- In a food processor, combine grilled peaches, tomatillos, and remaining ingredients (except salt and pepper). Pulse until the salsa is at your desired consistency.
- For smaller, snack-sized empanadas, create smaller balls of dough and use less filling per each.
- For a spicier salsa, leave the ribs of the jalapeño pepper intact.
Adapted from Cooking Light
Adapted from Cooking Light
Then, do this with the leftover salsa.