Kick butt* Empanadas

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So I’m dying.

I’m dying because I worked out after months.

MONTHS.

I hate working out.

HATE!

But after what I’ve been cooking and how uberly lazy I’ve become, I had to. I was pumped walking to the club house. I was pumped as I warmed up. I was pumped when I put on my favorite movie and worked out.

It was when I was done that I wanted to give up … on standing! I almost fell. Luckily, no one saw me stumble. I wanted to come home and devour something greasy and fantastic but we didn’t have anything already made. Anyway, so I jumped for a salad. Sigh.

If only I was as skinny as my sister, who could eat absolutely anything and yes, gain weight, but not be able to go over 100 lbs. UGH. I hate her too!

Ok, so I don’t hate her, I love her. But still. The doc and my sister ate all my cookies the other day. L Now, I’m cookie-less.

I’m also out of delicious recipes. Recipes that are oh so bad for me! Recipes that make be gain ten million pounds but feel oh. So. Good.

Sigh. I need to go through food network and find some recipes to work with!

Till then let me share this amazing recipe with you for Empanadas! Empanadas are stuffed bread or pastry that is baked or fried … kind of like Samosas!

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Spicy Chicken Empanadas

2 tbsp vegetable oil

1 medium onion, diced

½ jalapeno (seeded and finely diced)

2 garlic cloves, minced

½ tsp cumin powder

2 chicken breasts (boiled and shredded)

2 tbsp fresh lime juice

¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves

2 cups grated pepper jack cheese

S&P

Prepared pie dough or pastry sheets

1 egg mixed with 1 tbsp water

Vegetable or peanut oil for frying

In a skillet heat oil and add onions, jalapenos, garlic and cumin until it becomes translucent.

In a large bowl combine limejuice, cilantro, and chicken. Add the onion mixture and mix. Then add cheese and season with salt and pepper.

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Take the pie dough or pastry sheets and cut into squares. Traditionally, empanadas are shaped as a half circle as the sheets are cut into circles, however, to make things easier, I cut them into squares.

Put 1 tbsp of the mixture into the center of the dough. Brush egg wash across the edges and seal together. Press a fork against the edges gently.

If using pie dough, heat deep fryer to 325 degrees F with oil. Place a few empanadas in the fryer and flip until brown. Remove and drain on paper towels.

If using pastry sheets, preheat oven for 375 degrees. Use egg wash and lightly coat the top of each empanada and pop them into the oven until the crust is golden brown and are puffy.

Serve with your choice of verde!

– Aisha

Churros for the first time!

Back to that awesome house warming party we threw this past weekend.

I made a 2nd dessert of course. I thought really hard about what I should make. And then Giada popped into my head. A few weeks back, I watched a rerun of one of her episodes and she made churros!

CHURROS!

Ok, so I shouldn’t get that excited because the truth of it all is that I’ve never actually tried a churro. I just know that whenever I’ve been to six flags I would smell the cinnamon deliciousness and it would tempt to get one BUT funnel cake always wins. ALWAYS.

I kind of want some now. And I know I’m side tracking but this really bothers me … How is it that some places serve funnel cake WITHOUT ice cream and hot fudge. Its like a crime. Ice cream and hot fudge should never be optional. I went to the zoo with my friends after I moved here and the lady looked at me funny  as if I was asking her for curry powder topping or something. I should do something about it.

Anyway, continuing on with the churros. They were so good! Some were a little bit crunchy than others because I fried them longer so make sure they are out of the oil once they are done. But I loved them and now what I want the next time I go to six flags (along with the funnel cake of course)

Cinnamon Espresso Churros

Cinnamon-Espresso Sugar

½ cup sugar

2 tbsp ground cinnamon

1 tbsp instant espresso powder

Churros

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup water

6 tbsp unsalted butter (at room temperature)

2 tbsp sugar

2 tsp instant espresso powder

½ tsp fine sea salt

2 large eggs beaten

Canola oil for frying

A pastry bag fitted with a large star tip

 

In a small bowl, whisk together the sugar, cinnamon and espresso powder. Set aside.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and dust liberally with flour. Set aside. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan combine the water, butter, sugar, espresso powder, and salt over medium-high heat. Bring the mixture to a boil. Remove the pan from the heat and, using a wooden spoon, stir in the 1 cup of flour all at once. Return the pan to low heat and stir continuously until thick dough forms.

Transfer the dough to a large bowl and slowly add the eggs. Continue to beat until the eggs are fully incorporated and the dough is thick. Transfer the dough to a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip. Pipe the dough onto the prepared baking sheet.

In a large saucepan, pour enough oil to fill the pan about 1/3 of the way. Heat over medium heat. Using a thin metal spatula, transfer the dough, 4 pieces at a time, into the hot oil, and fry until dark-golden and crispy (about 3 minutes). Drain on paper towels and roll in the cinnamon-espresso sugar while still hot. Transfer to a serving platter and serve immediately.

So go *drool* od!

– Aisha :)

Apology worthy cake!

Sorry.

I am so sorry.

I promise I have a legit reason as to why I dropped off the face of this planet!

My Internet wasn’t working.

See. I told you I had a good reason.

I would never ever deprive you of delicious recipes! And because I’ve been gone for a week, I owe you all 10 bajillion recipes … thankfully I had a housewarming party this weekend and made a lot of dishes. The theme was Mexican fiesta! Unfortunately, no one brought their sombreros like I had asked … but they did bring an appetite!

It was a great evening with a bunch of close friends and a lot of leftovers. I’m currently sipping on some chicken tortilla soup and watching Married to Jonas. I have no idea why. I was too old to have a teen crush on them and probably only liked a song or two because my sister played them so much.

It’s just that once you go reality TV, you can never go back! I miss Oprah.

And I miss dessert from this weekend. I didn’t get to eat that much dessert because I have this horrible pain in my teeth. I was supposed to go to the dentist about a month ago but then I started fasting so I waited. And now I have no reason not to go but it’s just that I really despise going to the dentists. They are all so nice but it’s the little drill thingamajigger that sends pain all throughout my mouth if I think about it or hear something that’s close to it.

Ugh. I don’t want to go but I have to! Since I can’t fully enjoy it, I’ll share this recipe with you and you tell me how amazing it was. I know everyone absolutely loved it at the party.

Coconut Tres Leche Cake

Yields 12 servings

Butter to coat glass pan

1 cup of all purpose flour

6 large eggs, separated into whites and yolks

1 cup sugar

1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk

2/3 cup evaporated milk

½ cup canned coconut milk

1 tbsp vanilla extract

Frosting:

1 ½ cup heavy cream

2 tbsp powdered sugar

1 cup sweetened flaked coconut

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Make sure oven rack is centered. Coat a 13x9in glass dish with butter. Make sure to get all the sides! Set aside.

Take the flour and whisk it to get all the air and lumps out of it. Make sure you follow this recipe exactly as it’s supposed to be a sponge-like cake.

Separate the eggs in medium to large bowls. Add sugar to the yolks and whisk together for about 5 minutes until the mixture is pale yellow. In another bowl, whisk the whites together until stiff peaks start to form. Using a rubber spatula, stir about a third of egg whites into the yolk/sugar mixture. Once mixed, fold in the rest of the egg white mixture gently.

Sprinkle flour into the mixture and continue folding until there are no more streaks of flour. Do not overmix!

Pour batter into baking dish and bake until cake it puffed and golden about 25-30 minutes.

While waiting for the cake, combine the three milks and vanilla extract together and whisk the mixture. Set aside.

Once the cake is ready, remove from oven andpoke holes with a toothpick all over the cake and let it cool for about 15 minutes. Afterwards, pour the milk mixture over the cake, allowing it to absorb it all. Cover tightly and refrigerate for atleast 4 hours.

For frosting and topping layer, mix the heavy cream and powdered sugar until peaks form and looks like whipped cream. Spread on cake before serving and sprinke coconut on top!

Simple and Incredible! Enjoy!

Date Night with the Doc!

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It was one of those nights where I needed a well deserved break from the kitchen and the doc decided that we would go out for dinner! Yay me! Don’t get me wrong, I love cooking, however, I needed to get out!

While figuring out where to go, we flipped between the Olympics and Food Network. The doc’s favorite shows related to food are Diners, Dine-ins, and Dives AND Man Vs. Food on the Travel Channel. And at that moment, Diners Dine-Ins, and Dives was on and my brilliant husband decided that we go to a restaurant that Guy Fieri has visited.

Uh duh. Why doesn’t everyone else do that? Not only did we move to a new state, we don’t really know that many people yet so finding places to go to can be difficult. But when you have Guy Fieri on your side … you’re in for a treat! … or so we thought.

Cempazuchi located on the hip and happening Brady Street is an authentic Mexican restaurant. The atmosphere was great. The second we walked in though, it was buzzing with people and their conversations. We spotted the owner of the restaurant and the only reason we knew he was the owner was because he was on the episode. Not going to lie, it felt a little awesome going somewhere that was on tv.

We started off with Tortilla chips and 2 kinds of homemade salsa. One was made with Peanuts, cinnamon, and sesame which was DEEEEELICIOUS! The second was made of garlic and roasted red bell peppers. It was also tasty, but it couldn’t beat out the peanut salsa.

Then we ordered appetizers: Tortilla soup and half an order of queso fresco nachos with guacamole. First off, that half order was not half, it more like a full plate! We could have finished it, but wouldn’t have room for dinner. The soup however was mediocre. I think the best tortilla soup is the one that my friend, ZQ, gave me a recipe for. (Which you’ll see soon enough! So easy to make and so so so delicious!!) And the guacamole was beyond delicious. My favorite has been the guac from Chipotle, but now it might be #2. Not kidding when I say the flavor to that guac was simple yet so amazing, I wish I could find out how they made it.

For their dinner menu selections, their weekend special was crabmeat soft tacos which were good! They were served on blue cornmeal soft tacos that are freshly made at the restaurant. However, the bummy part was the fact that they were MUCH smaller than what was served to Guy Fieri on the episode. There was pinapple salsa to go with it, the doc didn’t like it as much but I did :) So yummy!

But overall, I think Mr. Fieri over exaggerated on the Mmm factor. It was good, but not great. Not disappointed though! I still like the idea of visiting restaurants that any of the chefs on Food Network recommend, especially if you are indecisive like me!

Anyway, so someone next to us ordered something with skirt steak and potatoes. [ yes, I was snooping while waiting for my food] and it looked pretty good. That gave me an awesome idea for dinner tonight.

I made skirt steak burritos with red chili sauce! Mmm Mmm Mmm. So good. The meat was tender and shredded. I added Mexican rice to resemble Chipotle’s burrito and topped it with unlikely veggies – slithered carrots, onions, and asparagus. And topped it with Guacamole. YUMMMM.

Unfortunately, you’ll have to wait until tomorrow for the recipe!

– Aisha