Thursday, May 5, 2011

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Hello out there!

Is everyone happy that it's Cinco de Mayo?  I am, it's kind of a big deal in our house... yes, I know it's not really Mexican Independence Day like most probably assume, but being of a Mexican-American  mix, I love any day that celebrates that half of me!  And what better way to celebrate than with food!  Yum!  Try this recipe - it's a fiesta in your mouth! 

Chocolate Banana Empanadas - courtesy of FoodNetwork


4 large ripe bananas

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 recipe empanada dough, recipe follows

4 ounces semisweet chocolate, broken in chunks

Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting


Mash the bananas, sugar, and cinnamon together in a mixing bowl until creamy, but not completely smooth – you should still have pieces of banana chunks. Spoon a generous tablespoon of the banana filling on the empanada pastry circles and stick a piece of chocolate on top. Form and bake the empanadas as directed in the recipe. Dust with confectioners’ sugar and serve hot.

(I use premade pie-dough in a pinch, but here's the recipe for homemade dough!)

Empanada Dough:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup masa harina

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1 large egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash

Butter, for greasing the pans

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, masa harina, baking powder, and salt. Stir in the melted butter. Gradually add 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup of water, working it in with your hands to incorporate; the dough should be easy to handle and not sticky. Form the dough into a ball, wrap it in plastic, and chill for 30 minutes.

Lightly flour your rolling pin and counter. Divide the dough in 1/2 so it will be easier to work with and roll it out to 1/8-inch thickness. Using a 4-inch cookie or biscuit cutter, cut out 10 circles of dough; repeat with the other 1/2.

Spoon 2 generous tablespoons of filling into the center of each pastry circle, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Brush the edges with the egg wash and then fold the dough over in 1/2 to enclose the filling and form a semi-circle. Tightly seal the edges by crimping with the tines of a fork. Chill at least 30 minutes before baking.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Place the empanadas on a buttered baking sheet and brush the tops with additional egg wash. Using a fork, prick a few holes in the top of the empanadas for steam to escape. Bake for 30 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown.

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