Basic Empanadas

Recipe & Photo credit: https://www.marthastewart.com/337617/empanadas

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INGREDIENTS

For the Filling

  • 2 pounds ground pork or beef
  • 2 medium onions, finely diced
  • 2 jalapeno chiles, minced (ribs and seeds removed for less heat, if desired)
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 cans (14.5 ounces each) tomatoes, diced
  • coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

For the Dough

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) cold butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon water (do not beat until ready to bake)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Make the filling: In a 12-inch skillet over medium-high, cook meat until no longer pink, breaking it up into small pieces, 5 to 7 minutes.
  2. Add onion and jalapenos; cook until soft, 5 minutes. Stir in chili powder and tomatoes. Cook over medium until mixture has thickened, 12 to 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Fold in cilantro. Let cool.
  3. Make the dough: In a bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Using your fingers, cut in butter until mixture is crumbly. Add just enough cold water so dough comes together.
  4. Form empanadas. If desired, freeze on a baking sheet until firm, 2 hours. Wrap tightly in plastic; freeze in plastic bags.
  5. To bake fresh or frozen empanadas, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place on parchment-lined baking sheets. Brush tops with egg wash, avoiding crimped edges. Bake until golden brown, rotating sheets halfway through, 30 to 40 minutes.
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Peanut Butter and Jelly Cupcakes

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Recipe & Photo Credit: https://www.marthastewart.com/315845/peanut-butter-cupcakes-with-peanut-butte

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 6 ounces (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 2/3 cup natural, creamy peanut butter
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Peanut Butter Frosting
  • Strawberry jam, for topping

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk dry ingredients in a large bowl. Cream butter and sugar with a mixer until light and fluffy. Mix in peanut butter. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each addition.
  2. Reduce speed to low. Mix sour cream and vanilla in a bowl. Add dry ingredients to butter mixture in 3 additions, alternating with wet ingredients and ending with dry. Scrape sides of bowl. Divide batter among muffin cups, filling each 2/3 full.
  3. Bake cupcakes until testers inserted into centers come out clean, about 20 minutes. Let cool in tins on wire racks. (Unfrosted cupcakes will keep, covered, for up to 3 days.) Once cupcakes are cool, frost tops with peanut butter frosting. Place a dollop of jam in center of frosting. Decorated cupcakes will keep, covered and refrigerated, for up to 2 days.

The Best Meatballs

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Recipe & Photo credit: https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/40399/the-best-meatballs/

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef

Directions

  1. Combine beef, veal, and pork in a large bowl. Add garlic, eggs, cheese, parsley, salt and pepper.
  2. Blend bread crumbs into meat mixture. Slowly add the water 1/2 cup at a time. The mixture should be very moist but still hold its shape if rolled into meatballs. (I usually use about 1 1/4 cups of water). Shape into meatballs.
  3. Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Fry meatballs in batches. When the meatball is very brown and slightly crisp remove from the heat and drain on a paper towel. (If your mixture is too wet, cover the meatballs while they are cooking so that they hold their shape better.)

Cookies and Cream Cupcakes

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Photo and recipe from: https://www.marthastewart.com/1134148/cookies-and-cream-cupcakes

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg plus 1 yolk, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 24 cream-filled chocolate sandwich cookies, plus more, finely crushed, for sprinkling
  • Cookies and Cream Buttercream

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two 12-cup muffin tins with paper liners. In a large bowl, combine flour, cocoa, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add eggs, melted butter, buttermilk, vanilla and 1/2 cup hot water; whisk until smooth.
  2. Spoon 1 tablespoon batter into each muffin tin and press a cookie firmly into each cup until batter comes up sides of cookies. Divide remaining batter evenly among cups. Bake, rotating pans halfway through, until cupcakes are puffed and set, 15 to 17 minutes. Let cool completely in pan on wire rack.
  3. Put the buttercream in a large piping bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain round tip (such as Ateco #808). Pipe onto cupcakes and sprinkle with crushed crumbs.

How to Make a Moscow Mule

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Photo and recipe credit: https://www.esquire.com/food-drink/drinks/recipes/a3817/moscow-mule-drink-recipe/


1/2 oz. lime juice
2 oz. vodka
6 oz. ginger beer

  1. Squeeze lime juice into a Collins glass (or Moscow Mule mug) and drop in the spent shell.
  2. Add 2 or 3 ice cubes, then pour in the vodka and fill with cold ginger beer (not ginger ale, although what the hell).
  3. Serve with a stirring rod.

Almond-Crusted Tilapia

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Recipe & Photo Credit: http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/almond-crusted-tilapia-0

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sliced almonds, divided
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 (6-oz.) tilapia fillets
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

How to Make It

Step 1

Process 1/2 cup almonds in a food processor until finely chopped, and combine with 1/4 cup flour in a shallow bowl.

 

Step 2

Sprinkle fish evenly with salt; dredge in almond mixture.

 

Step 3

Melt butter with olive oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat; add fish, and cook 4 minutes on each side or until golden. Remove fillets to a serving plate.

 

Step 4

Add remaining 1/2 cup almonds to skillet, and cook, stirring often, 1 minute or until golden. Remove almonds with a slotted spoon, and sprinkle over fish.

NEVER-FAIL SCALLOPED POTATOES RECIPE

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Recipe & Photo Credit: https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/never-fail-scalloped-potatoes

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1-1/2 cups fat-free milk
  • 1/2 cup shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese
  • 2 pounds red potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced (about 4 cups)
  • 1 cup thinly sliced onions, divided

DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 350°. In a small saucepan, melt butter; stir in flour, salt and pepper until smooth. Gradually whisk in milk. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly; cook and stir until thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in cheese until melted.
2. Place half of the potatoes in a 8-in. square baking dish coated with cooking spray; layer with 1/2 cup onion and half of the cheese sauce. Repeat layers.
3. Bake, covered, 50 minutes. Uncover; bake until bubbly and potatoes are tender, 10-15 minutes.
Yield: 6 servings.
Originally published as Never-Fail Scalloped Potatoes in Healthy Cooking February/March 2009, p51