Joanie Loves Bocce Game 6 – Fiesta!

May 31, 2008 at 8:47 am (Napa Valley) ()

Scoring a Casino…..1 Gold Star

Playing in 2 winning games…..2 Silver Stars

Beating Tipsy Moonshiners all 3 games…..PRICELESSI am soooo hungry

Joanie has been playing the Tipsy’s for three seasons now and there has never been a shut-out to date.  Granted, half of their team was on a Marketing retreat, we still played like rock stars.  12-1, 12-0, and 12-4.  That is some mighty good playing.  The Joanie train to Winville is on its way!

This weeks theme was FIESTA!  The food was amazing and I really do think that it gets better and better every week.  Pualito made my favorite appie – jalapenos stuffed with artichoke dip and cream cheese, wrapped with prosciutto and then baked in the oven…DELICIOUS!

I racked my brain for what to make…enchiladas?  tortilla soup?  taco salad?  All yummy and tried and true favorites, but I do love a challenge, especially when I can test new food stuffs on my poor bocce comrades.  So after flipping through my roomies extensive collection of Mexican cookbooks I had it Spicy-Sweet Empanadas.  Little bites of heaven!

Only make this recipe if you have time because it isn’t something to just throw together.  The empanadas can be assembled ahead and frozen, and then baked when needed.  FYI – to make these little heavenly bites you will need a 4″ round cookie cutter to make rounds in the puff pastry.  Serve with a bowl of mixed olives and hot peppers.

Spicy-Sweet Meat Empanadas
The Mexican Cookbook, by Marlena Spieler

Grab:
12 oz ready-made puff pastry
All-purpose flour
1 egg yolk, beaten with 1-2 T water
Spicy Beef Filling:
1 # fresh ground beef
1 onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/4 C sherry
pinch of ground cinnamon
pinch of ground cloves
pinch of ground cumin
14 oz can of chopped tomatoes
1 t sugar
1 t vinegar
3 T chopped fresh cilantro
3 T coursely chopped toasted almonds
salt and pepper

Get on it!:
1.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  To make the filling, brown the meat and onion in a skillet over medium heat.  Pour off any extra fat, then add the garlic and sherry and boil down until the liquid has nearly evaporated.
2.  Add the cinnamon, cloves, cumin, and salt and pepper to taste.  Stir in the tomatoes, sugar, and vinegar and cook over medium heat until the tomatoes have reduced to a thick sauce.  Stir in the cilantro and almonds and heat through, then set aside.
3.  Roll out the puff pastry into a thin layer on a lightly floured counter.  Using the 4″ cookie cutter, cut the pastry into circles.  Place a tablespoon or two of the Spicy Beef Filling in the middle of one circle.  Brush the edge of the pastry with beaten egg, then fold in half and press the edges together to seal.
4.  Press the tines of a fork along the sealed edges of the pastry to make the seal more secure, then place on a baking sheet.  Repeat with remaining pastry circles and filling.  If  freezing do not do the next step and go ahead and freeze.  Brush all empanadas with beaten egg.
5.  Bake in preheated oven for 15-25 minutes, or until a light golden brown on the outside and hot in the middle.  Serve immediately, hot and sizzling from the oven.

Enjoy, XOXO!

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