Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Empanadas are about the best comfort food around.  I grew up eating these yummy pastries from bakeries and carts downtown.  Every country has their version of a meat pie, and I believe most Latin American ones are along these same lines.  For my wedding my family and I made 100's of these little dears and I can't eat one now without thinking about it! 
This particular recipe is from a military cookbook from Panama, made by the wives of the Intelligence division on the Atlantic side called "Cooking With Intelligence" (long, long, ago.) BUT, it says it's taken from the "Interamerican Women's Club Cookbook"- a club my grandma used to belong to in Panama.  My mom uses this one and doubles it.   I must say it's much better than the one I used to use...


2 1/2 cups of flour
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup of chilled butter
1/4 cup of chilled Crisco
1 to 3 Tablespoons of water

Sift flour and salt into a mixing bowl and cut in the chilled shortening and butter until it resembles a coarse cornmeal, using two knives or a pastry cutter.  Add a little water until pastry is moist enough to stick together in a ball.  Put dough in refrigerator for an hour.  Roll out dough on lightly floured board to about 1/8" and cut with round cookie cutter or glass.  On each round of dough put a little of the filling, about 1/2 teaspoon.  Fold over and flute edges with fork.  Brush tops with beaten egg.  Bake in oven 400 degrees until golden brown.  Makes about 60 empanadas.

3/4  lb. ground pork (my mom used ground chicken and turkey)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 sweet pepper, chopped
1/4 cup of currants
1 Tablespoon of capers
10 stuffed olives, chopped
1 hard boiled egg, chopped (I've never added this before, and mom doesn't either)
1 bay leaf
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 lg. ripe tomato chopped (mom used a can of diced tomatoes)
4 Tablespoons of olive oil
1/2 tsp of oregano
1/2 hot pepper (optional)
1 sprig of parsley, chopped

*Put oil in frying pan and fry meat a little.  Add ingredients and simmer for half an hour.  Salt and pepper to taste.

I'll try and make some soon and post pictures for you!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Sopa de Limón

This is my quickie version of Sopa de Limón, a yummy chicken soup from the Yucatan peninsula.  We had some in Cobá, Mexico while watching Mexico play in the World Cup a few years ago.   An awesome family memory and a feel-good kind of soup for what ails ya...
Us in Cobá

Sopa de Limón
  1. Saute half an onion (chopped) and some garlic cloves til transparent.  Throw in some chicken (any parts or amount you want,) salt, pepper and I like a packet of Sazón by Goya to add flavor.   Add water to cover chicken by about 2 inches.  Add 1 lime that has been cut in two.  Boil until chicken is cooked.   *I had leftover broth and chicken from when I made the enchiladas which I froze and brought out for this purpose. 
  2. Let cool til you can chop or shred the chicken.  Put chicken back in broth and add more water and a few bouillon cubes if you need more broth (I like Knorr vegetable cubes but they are becoming increasingly harder to find here.)  I also added some chopped cilantro.   Add whatever else you want to now.  (I put in some cooked brown rice that I had leftover in the fridge and some chopped zucchini.)   Let simmer until you are ready to eat. 
  3. On serving I like to put things in little ramekins to add as people like. A bowl of halved or quartered limes, chopped cilantro, black beans, pico de gallo...

I served it with some homemade quick bread I made using my pizza recipe (1 1/2 times the recipe) plus added a bit more yeast and some fresh oregano. 

Monday, August 23, 2010

Enchiladas Verdes

Do you have one of those dishes that people ask you to make? 
(They may not be your personal favorites, but everyone else loves them?)
Mine are my enchiladas verdes, pizza, and carrot cake. 
This recipe came from one from my grandma that I changed quite a bit.  I do still like hers, and that's the one folks actually expect, but this one is healthier and actually more of a real enchilada.  My kids have become pickier (is that even possible?) so I took the rice out of these (which is inside them with Meme's recipe and also has almonds, which I leave out now for kids.)

Enchiladas Verdes

  • Shredded Chicken (could use turkey) I boiled, cooled, and shredded breasts, about 3?
  • Chopped onions or leeks (I used leeks this time)
  • Packet of Sazon for flavoring (or you could just use salt, pepper, cumin, oregano)
  • A bit of vinegar (maybe a tablespoon?)
  • Broth if needed 
  • My grandma added cooked rice and chopped roasted almonds to her filling which is tasty for a more casserole type meal.
Saute onions and garlic first til transparent.  Then add rest and simmer.  
When sauce (below) is done add a little to the filling and stir.

  • Sour cream, Greek Yogurt, or blended Cottage Cheese (I used sour cream and blended cottage cheese this time) about 2 cups, maybe a bit more depending on how creamy you like it.  *My grandma's recipe uses cream of chicken soup instead.
  • Shredded cheese (Mexican cheeses, cheddar or a mix) I used a Mexican/Cheddar blend from the store.  About a cup or so.
  • Salsa Verde also known as Tomatillo Salsa. (I use a pre-made salsa, Herdez brand which I like. You could make your own but tomatillos are expensive here and I haven't braved growing them myself.)  Again, as much as you'd like- think I use about a third to half of a jar.
  • Broth (I used chicken broth I'd made when I boiled the chicken breasts by adding some veggies to the boiling water.) Add enough to give it the right consistency, about a cup or so?

Filling Enchiladas

Rolled Enchiladas
Spread a little sauce in bottom of 9 x 13" baking dish.  Fill flour tortillas with enough filling to still be able to roll nicely.  You can use store-bought tortillas or make your own.  Roll and place seam side down in baking dish. You can sprinkle the top with more cheese if you want to.

Before Baking
Bake in a 350 degree oven until they are a little brown on top and heated through.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Antique Recipe Help

My aunt found this recipe on an old envelope when she was cleaning up my grandparent's attic:

It is in my grandma's handwriting, and written when her sister was still alive (before 1980 or so.)  I'm thinking it was even written in the 50's, but not sure. 

12 eggs (this quantity was blurred so not sure) 
1 T salt
4 T mustard
2 c sugar
2 c vinegar
1 cup cream or canned milk
Cook til thick.
*Notes- Real Good

We can't figure out what the recipe is for!  I haven't tried to make it yet (because honestly, it doesn't sound so yummy to me) but do really want to know what it's for! My grandma and her sister were both Canadian, in case any Canadians out there know what this is!

It almost sounds like a cooked mayonnaise, but then also like a custard like lunch salad.  Hmmmm...
Does anyone have any ideas?


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