Happy Hispanic Heritage Month!

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)

Production steps:

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.

Empanada recipe:

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

Production steps:

  • 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.

Meanwhile…

  • 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.

Closing

Happy October! Wishing you a great week ahead. Until next week…

Peace and wellness,

FS x

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A perfect dish for Earth Day!

Happy Earth Day! In honor of today, a posting on the perfect dish- a Burmese salad from Piggy Smalls, sister restaurant of The Pig & the Lady. I love both restaurants. Their cuisine is Vietnamese-fusion. The Pig & the Lady started out at a couple Farmer’s Markets on the island. After taking off, they decided to open a physical restaurant, which my girlfriend and I were so excited for! Finally!! Their phở is unlike no other. It’s different and so tasty. A few years later, Piggy Smalls opened. Yay! Love that there’s so many options now. The Pig & the Lady still appears at Farmer’s Markets and community events.

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Doesn’t this look refreshing? Lots of variety.

The “Weekend at Burmese salad” consists of the following ingredients: green papaya, tomatoes, garlic, sesame, various toasted nuts & sprouting seeds, preserved lemons, and Serrano peppers, with fermented lahpet dressing.

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This is the salad, mixed together. Mmm!

Here’s some facts about Earth Day: https://www.dosomething.org/us/facts/11-facts-about-earth-day.

If you haven’t tried one of the Piggies, you got to!

Piggy Smalls
Ward Village
1200 Ala Moana Blvd.; Honolulu 96814
http://thepigandthelady.com/piggysmalls/

The Pig & the Lady
83 N. King St.; Honolulu, 96813
http://thepigandthelady.com/welcome