empanadas

October 2, 2015 § 30 Comments

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Not only are these little tasty meaty pillows fun to eat, but they are quite simple to put together.  Well, truth be told, although a smooth process of assembly, they are a bit time consuming.  One hour and a half start to table, but, I’m here to tell you they are worth it.  If you have a little extra time and would like to spend it in the kitchen, I recommend making empanadas.

empanadas

I love a good cooking project and this one in particular is very relaxing and unhurried.  The pliable dough was a joy to work with, especially with the folding and crimping of the edges. Oh, and the delightful aroma of the beefy filling will spread through your home and create considerably above normal anticipation for dinnertime. No doubt you’ll enjoy spooning a bit of chimichurri sauce onto each bite.

I n g r e d i e n t s

For the dough:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 cup chilled butter
  • 1 cup warm milk (maybe a little less)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For the filling:

  • 1 pound free range, grass fed ground beef
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 bunch scallions, chopped
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 egg white, whisked

First, make the dough and refrigerate while preparing the filling.  Mix the flour & salt in a food processor, add the butter and blend well.  Add the egg yolk and milk, in small amounts, pulsing until small dough clump forms.  Make two flattened disks, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until filling is ready, at least 30 minutes.

Melt the butter in a large sauté pan.  Add onions and salt, cook until soft, about 10 minutes.  Add the beef and break apart with a wooden spoon, cook until browned.  Add spices and combine well.  Remove from heat and allow to cool.  Once cooled add scallions and fresh oregano.

On a lightly floured surface thinly roll out the dough and cut out disc shapes. If you don’t own a disc cutter (like me) you may use a small plate or bowl.  To assemble the empanadas, add a large spoonful of beef in the center of each disc.  Brush the edges of the disc with egg whites.  Fold empanada disc and seal the edges gently with your fingers.  Use a fork to seal the edges.  Lightly brush the top of the empanadas with egg whites and refrigerate for 30 minutes, while pre-heating the oven to 400°F.  Bake for approximately 25 minutes.

Serve warm with chimichurri sauce.

Chimichurri Sauce

  • 1 1/2 cups fresh parsley leaves
  • 1/2  cup basil leaves (or you may use cilantro)
  • 3 oregano sprigs, leaves removed
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 3 tablespoons vinegar (we used apple cider vinegar)
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons chili powder (add according to your taste, we go a little heavy)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth.  Taste and adjust by adding more vinegar or chili powder, according to your preference.

Enjoy!

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“steak in the oven” w/parsley chimichurri

March 15, 2013 § 2 Comments

I was visiting one of my favorite food blogs yesterday, “the kitchn” and read:  how to cook perfect steak in the oven.  Inspired, I drove to my neighborhood market.  Thank goodness this market features  fine grass fed beef.  I bought 2 lbs. of rib-eye and gave the “Steak in the Oven” a try.  I use a Weber with mesquite briquettes when we grill, therefore, I have been wanting to find an oven recipe that would turn out a nice steak.  And I found it!  This was perfect, melt in your mouth steak.  If you are like me sometimes you just don’t want to build a briquette fire.  Also, if you are somewhat like me sometimes you’ll discover you haven’t cleaned the ashes out in awhile and that adds another daunting task!   Not to mention living in Seattle….rain.   I wish I would have known about this all those years I lived in an apartment.

I found the parsley sauce a few summers ago in a copy of Martha Stewarts Food Everyday cookbook.  I always serve this with our steaks. I call it chimichurri rather than sauce.  Chimichurri is an herb condiment sauce that is considered a culinary specialty of Argentina. Typically served with grilled or roast beef.  I read one definition of chimichurri being a “condiment for food” and loosely translated as “a mixture of several things in no particular order”.

And of course…if you have a palette for it, don’t forget the horseradish!

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Everything you will need for this dish:

  •  2 lbs. good quality rib eye steak
  • a little salt and pepper
  • olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • handful of parsley
  • a few tablespoons horseradish….optional
  • cast iron skillet or heavy oven proof skillet

steaks

As mentioned in the kitchn recipe, the most important step is buy a good steak.  Grass fed and humanely butchered.  For a more intense flavor buy a dry aged steak.  You will spend a little more, and it is worth it.  We only have steak once in awhile so I don’t mind spending a little more on good quality beef.

Use a paper towel and blot your steak dry and allow it to come to room temperature.

Turn on your oven to broil.  Place a cast iron skillet in the oven, allow it to heat up as the oven is heating.

Generously brush one side of your steak with oil.  I used olive oil instead of canola or vegetable oil.  I read some folks may have had a problem with the oil smoking while it was broiling. I didn’t. It worked perfect for me. Sprinkle salt and pepper and pat it into the steak so it will stick.  Turn the steak over and do the same on the other side.  Brush oil on the edges too.

Turn your stove top burner on high heat.  Remove cast iron skillet from oven, place it over the high heat burner.  Using tongs place the steak in the hot skillet.  Cook for 30 seconds!  I counted 1001, 1002, 1003…etc.  Using tongs flip it over and do the same on the other side.  Then return the skillet to your broiler.  Cook the steak 2 minutes for medium rare, 3 minutes for medium.  Make sure to use a timer!  Using tongs, flip the steak over and do the same on the other side.

Remove steak from oven and put it on a large cutting surface.  Using foil make a tent and place it over the steaks for about 5 minutes allowing it to rest.

For presentation, rather than just serving your steak as a whole piece of meat, slice the steak.  Slice it against the grain. I like slices to be 1/4″ thick.  Serve with a spoonful of parsley chimichurri on top.

parsley chimichurri

  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh parsley leaves
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • course salt and fresh ground pepper

In a blender, puree the garlic, parsley, olive oil, and 3 tablespoons water until smooth.  Season with salt and pepper.

Serves 4

buon appetite

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