Using Up Those Leftovers

I apologize for falling behind with my blog these last few days.  Life has been very hectic and crazy.  I’ve had more coaching hours, more classes to teach, and just more things in general going on lately.  I’m not complaining; I love to be busy, but sometimes, things add up and I fall behind.  Sometimes, I just need a bit more time to catch up with everything and then I am ready to go again.  After doing a specialty class in the morning, and wine tasting with my friend Elizabeth in the afternoon, there wasn’t much time to do a lot of preparation for dinner once we returned home for he evening.  We had a wine pick-up that needed to be made before the end of February, especially since we did not make it for January either, and because we have been so busy as of late, we had to do it yesterday.  Oh darn, I was forced to sample wines from my favorite local winery, InVINtions A Creative Winery. Let’s Make Wine

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Elizabeth had never been to InVINtions before, so we had her taste a few.  Of course, I had to taste a few with her.  We started with whites (we asked for very small pours after this first one), had a couple of reds, and then finished with ports.  InVINtions ports are fabulous!  They offer a wide variety of flavored ports that are truly unique.

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When we returned home, there was not a lot of time for a lot of thought or preparation for dinner, and the leftovers were beginning to pile up.  Just in the nick of time, the “Queen” paid me a visit to lend a creative hand.  I had some black Cubano Beans and rice, Fajitas y Frijoles, some ham with roasted green chiles and onions, Part Quiche, Part Fritatta, and some leftover tomato sauce with olives.  HMMMMMMM!  What to make, what to make?  I know ….. Empanadas!  Have No Fear, the Queen of Leftovers is Here  I had already made my basic, go-to dough, with the plan of using it for my quiche, but decided to use potatoes for the crust instead.  Everything was already prepared, so all that was left to do was the assembly and then recooking it.  Easy-peasy!

My ingredients for the filling that got all mixed together.

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I rolled out the dough nice and thin, then added the filling and shaped them into empanadas.

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Once the empanadas were filled and shaped, I pan-fried them in HOT canola oil until they were lightly browned and crispy.  When pan frying, I usually use canola oil, since it has a higher smoke point than olive oil, which allows it to get hotter without burning.  You want the oil to be very hot before adding the empanadas so the dough does not absorb too much oil before cooking, making them greasy.  The empanadas only take a couple of minutes to cook on each side.  They came out light and fluffy with a crispy crunch as well.  Just perfect!.  I have made empanadas both fried and baked.  I know they are not as healthy when they are fried, but I like the taste and consistency better when fried rather than baked.

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I also had one avocado, that could really only be used as guacamole, so I quickly made up a small batch.  It was the perfect topper for the empanadas.  I served them with a quick, box of pasta – I know!  Food from a box!  How gauche!  And within minutes, a quick, easy-peasy dinner was served.  This was definitely not a fancy meal, nor, the most balanced meal, but it was still very tasty.  As you all know, I do my best to make everything from scratch as much as possible, however, I do keep instant foods around for just such occasions, when time is sparse and hungers are flaring.

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Author: ajeanneinthekitchen

I have worked in the restaurant and catering industry for 35 years. I attended 2 culinary schools in Southern California, and have a degree in culinary arts from the Southern California School of Culinary Arts, as well as a few other degrees in other areas. I love to cook and I love to feed people.

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