Honoring Hispanic culture
Hola! Hispanic Heritage Month is from September 15th-October 15th. In honor of this celebration, we’re featuring salsa verde and empanadas this week. Ironically, these are the dishes I made for my first week of my new course on culinary and pâtisserie. Whoo hoo!
Salsa verde recipe:
Let’s start with salsa verde- ‘coz it was simple and pretty quick- hehe!
Ingredients (yields two cups):
- 1 oz Canola oil
- Bunch of cilantro (or parsley)
- 1 Garlic
- 1 Lime (juiced)
- 1/2 oz Onion
- Salt- to taste
- 1/2 of Jalapeño or serrano peppers
- Tomatillos (canned or fresh)
- 1 canned 13oz
- 5 fresh (I guestimated since I couldn’t find canned tomatillos at my grocery stores)
When using fresh tomatillos, be sure to remove the husk. Also, before blending, fresh tomatillos, they should be blanched or broiled. I did both.
- Blend all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor to desired consistency.
- Heat canola oil over medium high heat.
- Season with salt.
- Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Salsa will keep fresh up to five-to-seven days.
Reactions to making salsa
I’ve never made my own salsa before. I couldn’t believe how simple and quick it was. I would love to experiment in making other salsas like pico de gallo and salsa roja (red salsa). Ooh, I can’t wait! I’m on a salsa kick! (I’m doing my quick salsa dance right now 🤪💃🏻). My university had a ballroom dancing course that I took. It was pretty cool, but definitely had its challenges. Salsa was a bit difficult to learn. My favorite dance was the foxtrot. It was the first dance we learned and was the easiest.
Onto empanadas… Empanadas are basically Spanish turnovers. They can be filled with either a savory or sweet filling. We’re filling them with savory ingredients.
Ingredients (yields eight servings)
- 2 oz bread flour
- 1 oz cake flour
- *NOTE: can substitute both flours for all-purpose flour (3 oz total)
- Canola oil (optional for deep-frying)
- 1/2 oz lard or vegetable shortening
- 2 oz monterrey jack cheese or mild cheddar, shredded
- 1 poblano pepper (roasted, seeded and diced)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1.5 oz warm water
- Sift flours into a mixing bowl.
- Add lard or vegetable shortening and blend into flour (I used vegetable shortening).
- Dissolve salt in warm water before pouring into the flour mixture.
- Knead dough until smooth.
- Wrap the dough in a plastic wrap and let it rest for 30 minutes.
- Scrape the filmed skin off the poblano pepper, using the back of the knife.
- Remove seeds and cut into dices. (The seeds will make the flavor more acidic)
- Combine cheese and pepper into bowl.
30 minutes later…
- Weigh the dough on a food scale and divide into eight equal pieces.
- Sprinkle flour on surface and rolling pin.
- Roll dough into a ball and flatten with a rolling pin, creating a circle.
- Place cheese/pepper mixture on one side of the circle.
- Fold the other side to create a turnover.
- Press dough around the filling and crimp edges with a fork.
- Line baking sheet with parchment paper and bake in a 375ºF oven until golden brown.
Happy October! Wishing you a great week ahead. Until next week…
Peace and wellness,
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