Nature Walks – Change Is Upon Us

I have been really bad lately. I keep telling myself I am going to go walk-about early in the morning before it gets to hot, but then I get busy doing other things and before I know it, the sun is baking hot. But today, I did go walk-about (an Aussie term), and I am so glad I did, for a lot of reasons. At first I wasn’t seeing to much, but then all of a sudden, there was lots to see. As usual, I took quite a few pictures.

It is only August, but changes are coming and they are coming quickly. Already I am beginning to see early signs of fall. The leaves are already starting to change their colors, we are getting our afternoon rains more frequently, and every so slightly, the temperatures are beginning to dip a bit too. I LOVE it! Fall is my favorite season. We’ve noticed in the past few years that we still have very dramatic changes in the seasons, and all our seasons are getting more and more beautiful, but they are making their changes earlier and earlier. We’ve heard that the earth is slightly off balance and that is effecting the rotation a bit, which is changing the timing of seasonal changes.

Although we still have lots of colorful flowers all around, the leaves on the trees are already starting to get the fall colors. If this year is anything like last year, we are going to have yet another spectacular fall.

Carpe diem! Seize the day and seize the moment, for in the blink of an eye, everything will change once again.

Strawberry Bread

Summer always has such a huge array of delicious fruits and berries. I love them all, and just can’t help myself. I have to buy them. Unfortunately, I don’t get any help at home eating them, and sadly if I do not cook with them a lot of them will go bad. Larry really is not much of a fruit eater, and especially NOT berries, other than strawberries, which means either I have to eat them all by myself or I have to share them with friends. Lucky for me, and all the berries in our house, I have been baking a few berried goodies and have been sharing them with with friends and friends at church for our coffee cart.

Today I am sharing my moist and delicious strawberry bread. It is a simple recipe, with just a few basic ingredients. I always say, simple is often the best. This recipe is definite proof of that too.

Strawberry Bread

Preheat oven to 350* F or 190* C.

Spray cooking oil into a loaf pan and then dust with flour.

1 1/2 sticks or 12 TBSP softened butter

1 cup sugar

1 TBSP vanilla

4 large eggs

1/4 cup milk

2 cups flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 1/4-1 1/2 cups sliced strawberries

Beat the butter and sugar together until soft and creamy, then add the eggs one at a time, mixing in between each egg. Add the vanilla and mix again.

Combine all the dry ingredients together then add to the egg mixture, 1/2 at a time, mixing in between. Alternate between adding the flour mixture and the milk. Do not over mix.

Once the batter is made, gently fold in the strawberry slices and spoon into the prepared loaf pan.

Bake for for about an hour or until it is lightly golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the middle.

I like glazes on my loaf cakes, so after it was cooled completely, I made a simple glaze with powdered sugar and a little lemon juice, then added some colored sprinkles on top.

This time, I had a very special sous chef helping me too. Mommy’s little helper. Juneau wasn’t sure if she liked strawberries or not, but she kept asking for more. She ended up eating a few of the slices.

Needless to say, this cake was berrilicious! It’s a great way to enjoy the beautiful strawberries of summer.

Stay cool, stay safe and stay well Everyone. ‘Til next time.

Greek Spetsofai

Spetsofai is a traditional Greek styled “stir-fry” made of sausage and peppers. Just like with any good dish that has been aroundfor a long time, there are many different versions. Originally it came from the province of Thessaly, which lies between Macedonia and Attiki. This is a traditional rustic one-pan kind of dish.

Once again, I was introduced to this dish by one of bloggers, foodzesty at https://foodzesty.com/. Of course I did what I always do, and I personalized it, making it in my own way. I served it over couscous with some warmed pita bread and a rich ruby red Malbec on the side. It was delicious!

Greek Sausage and Peppers in Tomato Sauce

1 1/2 lbs spicy sausage, cut into small pieces

1 yellow bell pepper, diced large

1 orange bell pepper, diced large

2 tomatoes, diced

1 onion, diced large

1 zucchini, sliced

1 – 1 1/2 TBSP garlic

1 TBSP tomato paste

1/2 cup olive oil

1 tsp red pepper flakes, or to taste

salt & pepper to taste

1 TBSP fresh oregano and thyme, chopped fine

Get the skillet and oil very hot, then carefully add the sausage and brown completely. Once the sausage is browned, remove it from the heat and set it aside.

In the same skillet, add the onions, peppers, zucchini, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Cook until the vegetables are mostly done, or about 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add the tomatoes and tomato paste and stir in well.

Re-add the sausage and add the fresh herbs. Mix everything together well, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer, cover and continue to cook for about 30 minutes, stirring frequently.

Serve over either rice, couscous, pasta or even mashed potatoes. Top it with feta cheese if you like and serve. This is rich, spicy sauce, so it needs a big, bold red wine to go with it. Anything else will get lost in the spices.

Even though this is kind of a winter or cooler weather dish, it is good any time. It was so tasty and full of flavor. Enjoy!

Stay cool, stay safe and stay well Everyone. ‘Til next time.

Fun With Friends – Part 2 – Boulder

Day one with Patty, Rita and Julia was in Denver. Fun With Friends – Part 1 – Denver Day two was spent in Boulder. We started off with lunch at the Dushanbe Teahouse a place I have introduced to you before as well. The Dushanbe Teahouse I love bringing guests here because it so different and unique, plus the food is very good too.

Julia, Patty and Rita standing outside. All of these tiles were hand made and shipped over from Kazakhstan.

It was once again, a scorchingly hot day, so the first thing we wanted when we sat down was something cool and refreshing to drink. We started off with one of their specialty house iced teas. It hit the spot.

And then we ordered. We shared some shrimp cakes,

then we ordered some chicken curry with purple carrots,

and Patty ordered a shrimp salad.

After lunch we were all deliciously satisfied and ready to move on to our next adventures.

As soon as we left the restaurant the street was setting up for a farmer’s market and the bread vendor had their breads out on display. They were mouthwatering. But no one was there so we couldn’t purchase any. Julia said we should have just taken some, since they are from California and their new law states that you can’t be prosecuted for stealing anything under $950. We would have had to steal A LOT of bread to make that $950 limit, but we were good. We only salivated over the breads, we didn’t take any. Darn! We talked about going back and getting some of the bread after we came down from the mountain, but we all forgot about it. Next time.

One of the many things Colorado is known for is its mountains. We have them all around us. After lunch, we headed up the Flagstaff pass. It was filled with very sharp hairpin twists and turns, but it was a very beautiful drive. We made quite a few stops along the way to take in the vistas. Here we are with a gorgeous view of Boulder below.

Boulder is only about 15-20 minutes away form us, but sometimes it seems like a whole world away. The mountains in Boulder are known as the Flatirons because of the flat side on the front.

A Boulder bolder.

After our fun Boulder adventures it was time to come back home. I cooked us a simple meal of Thai inspired pork loin with rice and vegetables that we all enjoyed out on our deck. While we driving around through Boulder, we saw a doe, but since I was driving and there was no place to stop, I couldn’t take any pictures. While we were enjoying the cool evening out on our deck we saw a huge great horned owl it our neighbor’s tree, but it was so dark none of my pictures came out. You’ll have to settle for a stock photo instead.

We did our best to make sure Patty, Rita and Julia all got to see as much of our beautiful area as possible in their short time here. I think we succeeded. 🙂

Have a great day and always live life to the fullest. Stay cool, stay safe and stay well Everyone. ‘Til next time.

Fun With Friends – Part 1 – Denver

My friend Patty, and two of her friends Rita and Julia, were visiting from San Francisco. Their first stop was Denver. We got to get some quality visiting time in before they headed up to Steamboat Springs, to stay with Rita’s daughter. I had never met Patty’s friends Rita and Julia before, but we all felt like we have known each other for years, which in part is really true. They are truly beautiful ladies, both inside and out. Patty and I were trying to calculate the years of friendship between us, and we determined it is over 30 years. I have known Patty since my days in San Francisco. She was actually my supervisor, though she insists she was just my co-worker. We worked for Ketchum Public Relations, right in the heart of San Francisco. Patty has known Rita even longer, and the three of them have known each for 30+ years as well.

From left to right, Patty, Rita and Julia.

We picked Patty, Rita and Julia up at their hotel and from there, we went to dinner at one of my favorite restaurants, Barcelona, in the RiNo (River North) district of Denver. Birthday Celebrations – Part 2 – Barcelona

Barcelona is a Spanish tapas styled restaurant, where everything comes in small plates and small bites. Tapas are meant to be shared with family and friends, so it is always much more fun to go when you have a group of people. The more people you have, the more dishes you can try. 🙂 We sampled quite a few absolutely amazing plates too. We were hungry and had already started tasting when I realized I needed to take pictures. We ordered salads, vegetable plates and meat plates and we shared and loved them all. As always, everything was delicious and the service fantastic.

Immediately after dinner, we all needed to walk around a bit to let our food settle, so we toured around the area to see all the colorful street art. We have done this a few times, but there is always something new to see. I took some pictures of the art that was new to me, but the attached link will show you more of the local art too. The RiNo Art Walk There are some very talented artists who paint these walls. It just goes to show that life is your canvas.

After strolling around and taking in the sights of the RiNo, we drove around the City of Denver and pointed out some of our local points of interest. Time flies when you are having a good time, and before we knew it, it was time to turn in and call it a day. But we all had so much fun together, we added another day of fun filled adventures for the next day as well. Stay tuned. Don’t touch that dial. There are more fun adventures headed your way. 🙂

Life is always best when enjoyed with good food and good friends. We do our best to live life to the fullest.

Stay cool, stay safe and stay well Everyone. ‘Til next time.

Well Hello Dolly!

Our very own Dolly Aizerman is back as a guest chef, once again. Though Dolly and I have never met in person, as of yet, we both just know that once we do, we are going to be great friends. We have so much in common. Don’t you just love her beautiful and vibrant smile? I know I sure do. 🙂

Dolly, can be found at https://koolkosherkitchen.wordpress.com/. She is famous for her very intriguing food facts and stories, as well as her delicious recipes. She has a real joie de vivre, and it shows in everything she does. Today, Dolly is bringing us her Oriental Express Ahi Tuna, in her own words and videos. Please be sure to click onto the video websites too. You don’t want to miss a thing. Most of these clips are from the movie Amadeus, a great movie from quite a few years ago, starring Tom Hulce.

Ancient Romans called the entire Eastern part of the Roman Empire Orient, from Latin oriens, which means East, or literally, rising, like the rising sun. The Land of the Rising Sun, i.e. Japan, was unknown to them. Yet as Europeans explored lands further and further eastwards, the concept of Orient kept expanding, eventually reaching Far East, which included China and Japan. By 18th century, everything even remotely Oriental became fashionable in Europe. However, in European minds, it still included everything exotic to the east of what they considered “civilized countries.” One of those exotic places was Turkey, with its mysterious harems, or seraglios, as they were called in Europe, and fantastic tales of sultans and pashas with their numerous wives and concubines.

It is no wonder, then, that when Mozart was commissioned by Austrian Emperor Joseph II to create an opera in German, he chose a lighthearted, ridiculously comical story of a pining lover Belmonte who manages to abduct his betrothed Konstanze from Selim Pasha’s seraglio, ably and hilariously added by his servant Pedrillo and Konstanze’s maid Blonde, an English girl. They get caught, of course, and are about to be executed, but at the last moment, Pasha grows a heart and lets them go (the following scene is filmed on location in Topcapi, the former Sultan’s Palace):

Don’t be surprised: this was the very first full-size opera written and sung in German, rather than Italian. The music, of course, is Italianized to the point that Emperor, who obviously loved it, still remarked:

“Too many notes” was, perhaps, an unfair assessment, but who else would write a part for a bass coloratura? Have you ever heard one? I haven’t! Besides, that same bass aria includes the lowest notes in the entire world bass repertoire, so the singer has to have an incredible range. But the actual “too many notes” appear in a different aria, the one every coloratura soprano in the world cuts her singing teeth on:

You might remember this scene from Amadeus, a beautiful and widely acclaimed film, and you might have noticed that the costumes are not exactly Turkish, but conforming to the fashion of Mozart’s times. Well, if they could do it in eighteenth century, why can’t our opera houses do the same in our days? And they started doing it: Pagliacci set in American Dust Bowl, Carmen in a contemporary bar, and Abduction from Seraglio? To preserve at least some Turkish flavor, a few opera companies, including our Florida Grand Opera, brought on stage … The Orient Express. Yes, the set recreates the legendary train, the epitome of grand luxury, “the rolling palace,” as it has been known since the end of 19th century and its maiden voyage. Dressed as the characters of Dame Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express, Mozart’s personages love, fight, and gloriously sing inside the splendid train.

But what about the Orient as we know it today, or the Far East: A full hundred years after Mozart, P.I.Tchaikovsky and the famous choreographer Marius Petipa have inserted this delightful piece into everybody’s beloved Nutcracker (these are kids dancing, Beautiful People, from the renown Kirov Ballet Academy):

Now you see that you don’t have to be oriental to celebrate the Orient, and thus I have taken the liberty of creating this fast and fun recipe:

Dolly’s Oriental Express Ahi Tuna

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 Ahi tuna steaks
  • 2 -3 garlic cloves
  • ½ inch ginger, grated
  • Large handful of fresh cilantro
  • 1 tblsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tblsp oy sauce
  • 1 tblsp dry sake (rice vinegar may be used)
  • 1 tblsp sesame oil
  • Allspice to taste
  • White sesame seeds to garnish

PROCEDURE

  • Mix all ingredients, except sesame seeds. Marinate tuna steaks for at least an hour in refrigerator.
  • Grill for 2 minutes on each side, reserve marinade.
  • To serve, pour remainder of marinade over hot tuna steaks, sprinkle sesame seeds on top.

Enjoy! I know I sure will enjoy this scrumptious dish. I LOVE ahi tuna! I know you will enjoy it too. Thank you my beautiful friend, Dolly. I so look forward to the day when we can actually meet, in person. I know we are going to have so much fun. Until we do actually meet, jusqu’a ce qu’on rencontre, mon Amie! Je l’adore!

Always make the most of your days, or carpe diem! Stay cool, stay safe and stay well Everyone. ‘Til next time.

Chocolate Banana Bread

Years ago, when I lived up in San Francisco, I worked at a public relations firm. Most of our clients were food clients, and one of those clients was Ghirardelli Chocolate. One of the many perks of the job was not only creating great recipes and promos for our clients, but we also got some great gifts from them too. You all know how much I love and value my cookbooks, so one of my favorite gifts from that time was a little Ghirardelli cookbook. I have used it many times, and have made many great recipes from this book. One of those recipes is this delicious chocolate banana bread.

I started off with the basic Ghirardelli recipe, and then expended upon it from there. I know. You are all stunned that I would actually change a recipe and recreate it to make it my own. 🙂 I substituted pecans for walnuts. That was one change. I LOVE pecans. Walnuts, not so much. I added some banana extract to the mix as well, to enhance the banana flavor of the bread too. I also made a chocolate ganache to top the banana bread and added more chopped pecans. The chocolate ganache and nut topping really added more pizzazz and personality to the basic banana bread, making it really come to life. It was good before, but great after.

Chocolate Banana Bread

Yes, I really did use Ghirardelli chocolate, and NOT the King Arthur’s seen here in the picture. I forgot I had Ghirardelli chocolate at first, but then found out that I did. 🙂

Preheat the oven to 350* F or 180* C.

Spray cooking oil in a loaf pan and then dust lightly with flour.

1/2 cup or 1 stick butter, softened

1/2 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp banana extract

2/3 cup cocoa powder

1 1/2 cups or about 2 large bananas, mashed

3/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, divided

1 3/4 cup flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

Mix the butter and sugar together until it becomes creamy, then add the eggs, one at a time, beating in between. Add the mashed bananas and banana extract and mix again.

Combine all the dry ingredients together and mix well. Then add all at once to the butter and egg mixture. Mix just until everything is just blended together. Do not overmix, or your bread will be tough.

Once everything is combined, gently fold in about 2/3 of the chopped nuts. Then pour into the prepared loaf pan and bake for about 1 hour, or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the middle.

Allow the bread to cool completely before adding the ganache.

Chocolate Banana Ganache

Equal parts chocolate and heavy whipping cream in a saucepan. Melt the chocolate complete while stirring constantly at a medium-low temperature. Add 1 tsp of banana extract and mix in thoroughly. I use chocolate chips a lot when making a ganache. It saves me the time of chopping the chocolate into small pieces. Plus, it tastes great too.

When the ganache is ready, pour it over the bread and top with the remaining chopped nuts. This is delicious on its own, or served with ice cream and a bit more of the chocolate ganache as well.

We all need chocolate in out lives. Chocolate is a food group all on its own. 🙂

Stay cool, stay safe and stay well Everyone. ‘Til next time.

The Empanada Party – Part 4 – Pumpkin Picarones

This is the last installment of my Empanada Party series. The Empanada Party – Part 1 – Beef Empanadas; The Empanada Party – Part 2 – Chicken Empanadas; The Empanada Party – Part 3 – Una Gran Ensalada Latina We are ending on a very sweet note. Today, I bring you dessert. Today, I bring you pumpkin picarones or pumpkin donuts. We served them with ice cream and a light brown sugar sauce. I made the dough ahead of time and kept it in the refrigerator until we were ready to use it. By refrigerating it, the dough would not rise any more than I wanted it to.

Picarones are found all over Peru. Like a lot of recipes, they were created by accident and then became a huge and very popular dessert all over Peru. They were first created as a replacement for the traditional bunuelos, which were a type of donut brought over from the Spanish conquistadors, around 300 years ago. The bunuelos were becoming to expensive for the locals to make and the ingredients were hard to find, so they started improvising and using local and regional ingredients, such as squash (pumpkin) and sweet potatoes. In Peru, they are usually made with fermented chicha, or a fizzy Andean corn beer, but yeast is a good substitute, and here in the United states, yeast is much more readily available. Once the donuts are made, they are served in a syrup that was originally made from solidified molasses, known as chancaca or or with a panela syrup. I usually only make them with pumpkin, but the traditional recipe calls for both pureed sweet potato and pumpkin.

Picarones con Salsa Panela

1/4 cup lukewarm water

1 tsp + 1 1/2 TBSP sugar

2 tsp dry active yeast

1/4 cup milk

1 large egg, slightly beaten

1/2 tsp salt

2 TBSP butter, melted

1 can pureed pumpkin

2 3/4-3 cups flour

canola or peanut oil for frying the donuts

Mix the water, 1 tsp of sugar and the yeast together and let sit for about 5-10 minutes, or until it becomes foamy and frothy.

Mix the egg, milk and melted butter together and add to the yeast mixture when it is ready.

Then add the pumpkin and/or sweet potato (cup) and whisk together until is is all blended together and smooth. Next, add the flour and mix together until you have a soft, sticky dough.

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead for about 5 minutes. Add more flour as needed. Shape into a ball and cover to let rise for about 1 hour, or until it has doubled in size.

Punch the dough and let it stand for about 10 minutes, before starting to work with it. Pull off small pieces of the dough and form into small balls, about the size of a walnut. Roll the dough ball into a thin rope, then bring then ends together to form a circle and pinch tightly.

Su, Elizabeth, Peggy and Amy are starting to work on the donut making process.

Our donuts were all different sizes, but they were all delicious.

Linda and Lauren were supervising, making sure the donuts came out just right.

Once the donuts are all prepared, get the oil to 360* F or 190* C. Then carefully add a few donuts at a time, making sure NOT to overcrowd them. Fry them for about 2-3 minutes, or until they start to rise to the top and they are golden brown and puffy. Drain them on a paper towel to absorb the excess oil before serving.

Su is frying up the picarones.

They have passed inspection. The donut ladies have all given them the thumbs up and the OK sign.

As the donuts are draining, make the panela sauce.

Panela Sauce or Salsa de Panela

1 1/2 cups brown sugar

3/4 cup water

1 cinnamon stick

1/2 tsp ground cloves

1 TBSP orange zest

1/4 cup spiced rum, optional

1-2 TBSP lavender sugar, optional

Place everything together in a saucepan, bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Cook until all the sugar is melted and you have a smooth, liquid sauce. Immediately pour over the donuts and serve. Ice cream is optional, but it is a good addition.

Peggy, Elizabeth and Amy are busy plating up the picarones and topping them with the panela sauce. They were oh so good too.

These are best when eaten fresh and hot, and eat them you will. They will literally just melt in your mouth. You’re going to LOVE these little pumpkin picarones. The dough makes a lot, so make them all up and share with friends and loved ones. You will be very popular indeed. 🙂

Stay cool, stay safe and stay well Everyone. ‘Til next time.

The Empanada Party – Part 3 – Una Gran Ensalada Latina

We had so much fun making our empanadas at our empanada party, but we could not ONLY eat empanadas, now could we?! The Empanada Party – Part 1 – Beef Empanadas; The Empanada Party – Part 2 – Chicken Empanadas We had to have side dishes to go with our delicious empanadas. I roasted some baby potatoes and then we all made a big, beautiful and colorful salad, una gran ensalada Latino, as well.

The whole meal was a group/class effort, made by all. We all joined in to make the empanadas. Once the empanadas were done, we moved on to make the rest of the meal. As a time saver, I had already roasted and cut up the peppers and onions.

Priscilla was in charge of the Argentine chimichurri sauce, with help from Linda.

Linda and Lauren were in charge of making the gorgeous gran ensalada Latina. This is kind of a generic salad that is popular all over South America, hence the generic name. With all salads, everywhere, not just in South America, the fun part comes from experimentation and throwing in whatever fresh vegetables you have, as well as coming up with some fun dressing that matches the salad. Amy and Peggy were in charge of making the dressing, and I thought I had a picture of that, but alas, I do not. Sorry Ladies.

Gran Ensalada Latina

1 head of Romaine lettuce, chopped rough cut

1 yellow, 1 orange and 2 red bell peppers, roasted, rinsed, seeded and cut into thin strips

4-5 ripe tomatoes, diced medium

2 avocados, diced medium

1/2 red onion, sliced very thin

1 can hearts of palm, drained, rinsed and sliced into small rounds

Once everything is cut to perfection, all that is left to do for this beautiful salad is to creatively and artistically arrange it all on a big platter. Then top it with the dressing and a few cilantro leaves.

The Dressing

Dressings for much of the Spanish world are just simple dressings made with a few spices, some kind of an acidic juice and olive oil. This is to best bring out the flavors of all the fresh vegetables rather than the flavors of the dressings.

1 TBSP Dijon mustard

1 1/2 TBSP garlic

1/4 cup lime juice

2 TBPS white wine or white balsamic vinegar – We used white balsamic vinegar

2 tsp chili powder – ajo or garlic chili powder

2/3 cup olive oil

salt & pepper to taste

Whisk everything together and add to the top of the salad. Serve immediately after adding the dressing. You don’t want the vegetables or lettuce to get soggy.

We prepared our dessert before we all sat down, with the boys, to enjoy our fabulous comidas Latinas, but you will just have to wait a little longer for the dessert portion of the meal. 🙂

Good food and life in general is always best when served with good friends. Have fun. Make the most out of every day.

Stay cool, stay safe and stay well Everyone. ‘Til next time.

The Empanada Party – Part 2 – Chicken Empanadas

In Part one of this series, I gave you our recipe for the beef empanadas we made. The Empanada Party – Part 1 – Beef Empanadas Today, I am giving you the recipe for the chicken empanadas. These empanadas are also from Venezuela. These are called empanadas de guiso de pollo in Venezuela. The filling is known as the guiso de sofrito., or a stewed filling with a blend of spices and herbs. The process of making them was the same, although I used a different type of dough for these. But again, we fried them rather them baked them. I like the fried version much better than I like the baked version.

Chicken Empanadas in a Corn Meal Dough

The Dough

3 cups yellow cornmeal

1/2 cup tapioca starch or cassava flour

1 tsp salt, or to taste

1 tsp ground achiote or annatto peppers

3 cups hot water

Mix all the dry ingredients and spices together first, then add the hot water and mix until everything comes together and forms a ball. Add more water if it is to dry or add more cornmeal if it is to sticky. Once again, I mixed everything in my food processor.

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead it all together until it resembles the consistency of play dough. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least one hour before using.

The Guiso Sofrito

3 cups chicken, cubed small

2 tsp achiote seeds

1 cup white onion, diced fine

1 1/2 TBSP garlic

2-3 Hatch chilies or serrano chilles, diced fine

1/4 cup tomato paste

1-1 1/2 cups corn

2 TBSP fresh parsley, chopped fine

1/4 cup green onions, chopped fine

salt & pepper to taste

olive oil for cooking

Get your skillet nice and hot then add the oil, the onions, peppers, achiote, corn and garlic and cook for about 1-2 minutes.

Once the onions are translucent and aromatic, add the rest of the ingredients and cook until everything is done, stirring frequently.

Allow to cool for a bit before using. Everything else is the same as making the beef empanadas. Shape the dough how you like, then add 1 heaping TBSP (or as much as the dough will hold without over flowing) of filling and fold and shape the dough. Crimp it and seal the edges tightly. If frying, add to hot canola or vegetable oil and cook for about 2-3 minutes per side or until golden brown.

If you are baking the empanadas, preheat the oven to 400* F or 200* C. Place the empanadas on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for about 8-12 minutes, flipping half way through, or until golden brown on both sides. The baked version will be softer than the fried version, but are still very good.

!Desfruitas! I just know you are going to love these.

Stay cool, stay safe and stay well Everyone. ‘Til next time.

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