Thursday, April 8, 2010

March Recipes: Empanadas, Braciole, Shephards Pie, Irish Soda Bread, Dumplings & Soups

Argentine Empanadas...
My brother-in-law, Fabio, makes these FANTASTIC empanadas. He is from Argentina and his mother taught him well! I absolutely love these! Having moved from FL to Indiana, there's not a whole lot of empanadas in these parts! lol. Especially Argentine! What I have done was search online for Argentine Empanadas and also asked my brother-in-law how he makes his. I compiled some recipes and then made my own.
I can't figure out how to turn the deal with it. Anyway, here is my version on Fabio's Empanadas!

Turkey Empanadas
1 1/2 lb groung turkey (I get mine at costco and use the whole package)
1 onion, finely chopped
4 cloves of fresh garlic, minced
1/2 large red or yellow pepper (or 1 whole small one), finely chopped
1 1/2 - 2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 hard boiled eggs, finely diced
20 green olives, finely diced
2 Tbs paprika, 2 T parsley flakes, Seasonall Salt (I used Tastefully Simple), Freshly ground black pepper, a packet of Sazon Goya Seasoning, and worcestershire (about 1 Tbs). Season according to your taste. Taste it before you fill the empanadas!
Crust Ingredients
1 2/3 cup flour
1/8 tsp salt
4 oz butter cold butter (cut into small pieces)
1/3 cup milk
I double this and make it in the food processor in two separate batches.


1 egg (I used eggwhites I had in the fridge)
1 Tbs milk
To make the crust. Place all ingredients in the food processor and process until it comes together. Do this in two separate batches. Shape into disks and put in press and seal. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Place potatoes in cold water and boil until tender. Saute onion, pepper and garlic over medium heat for about 3 minutes in a 12 inch skillet. Add the ground turkey and seasonings. Cook until browned. Drain potatoes. Add potatoes, olives, and hard boiled eggs to filling.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Roll out dough on floured work surface to about 1/8-inch and cut into circles. I used a drinking glass. Spoon the filling onto one half of each leaving room to fold in half and seal. I wrapped my edges like my brother-in-law does. You can look online for a video to show you how to do it. Just do a google search for empanadas. You can also just seal the edges with your fork. Place on parchment paper on a large sheet pan.

Combine the ingredients for the glaze. Bake for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350 and continue baking until the crust turns light brown. Brush the tops with glaze and bake for an additional 5 minutes.

You can fill these with whatever you like. You can use ground beef, chicken, pork or even make dessert empanadas. I do a google search of whatever I think sounds good and look for filling recipes for these. Then adapt to what I have in the kitchen and what my family would enjoy. Good luck! Give it a try!

On to Braciole.....
This is a family favorite in our house. It is called Braciole. Don't ask me the right way to say it because I have to look it up every time I make it! It is from Giada DeLaurentiis' Everyday Italian cookbook. There is a process, so it takes about three hours, but we are NEVER disappointed. You can look up the recipe on the food network website. *If you have the Every Day Italian Cookbook, you will find the recipe on page 160.
If you know me, you know I have to have a meat, vegetable and a grain of some kind on the plate. Well, due to my good friend Billie (The Tipsy Gourmet) talking about her wonderful baked macaroni and cheese for a day or two, I had to bake some. I am absolutely not a Kraft out of the box mac and cheese kind of mom. Those who know me, know I cook from scratch and would be horrified to serve neon orange food to my kids. lol. I honestly don't recall where I got the baked mac and cheese recipe (most likely Barefoot Contessa, Giada or Martha Stewart), but it was amazing!

St. Patrick's Day...
For St. Patrick's Day we HAD to have an Irish dinner! Complete with Guinness, of course. I also baked an Irish Soda Bread that I adapted from a friend's grandmother's recipe, Barefoot Contessa and Martha Stewart. I like to take from the best and change it to fit our preferences.
Here's how it all turned out:
The family loved this along with some celtic music in the background.

Kung Fu Panda Night...

Yes, you read that correctly. I have been dying to try out some dumpling recipes and had to figure out how to make the kids go for it. My kids are 5 and 9 and really good eaters! They eat what I put in front of them, or they don't I guess that might be why! :)

We decided to do a theme night once a month. March was Kung Fu Panda Night.


Shrimp Shau Mai Beef Broth with Leeks
Lemon and Thyme and Mushroom Dumplings
Shrimp and Mushroom Rice Noodle Soup
Steamed Broccoli
Hot Lemon Tea

Beef Broth and Mushroom Dumpling recipes from Martha Stewart's Dinner at Home cookbook
Shrimp Shau Mai from website recipes
Soup was just thrown together (chicken broth, baby portabellas finely sliced, green onion, rice noodles)
Since making this I have found another great dumpling recipe in Pampered Chef's Season's Best Fall/Winter 2009 cookbook. It is called Steamed Wonton Purses and is made with ground turkey. Delish!


  1. Wouldn't have minded a seat at your table on any of those nights, butspecially on the Po night - as I adore dumplings!

    1. Thanks, me too. I always forget how long they take to prepare from scratch until the day of...but my 7 year old LOVES them, so I make them. Hmmm....Maybe I will put that on this week's menu.