It started out, as my recipes often do, with A Big Idea.
With Valentine's Day on the horizon, I'm planning a Romantic Weekend Brunch for Eric, which is simple enough, I thought. There should definitely be an egg dish. And fresh fruit, I think. And something sweet. (Pastelitos or Cinnamon Rolls?) And coffee, of course, because Cuban. But I also wanted to add a meat dish with a little bit of a kick to it to juxtapose with all of the above elements.
Also, I didn't want to default to just plain old bacon or sausage as the meat dish, because then that would be just Breakfast. I'm going for a little bit of a Brunchier feel here. So I thought I'd add chorizo which would add the kick I was looking for. Because I really wanted him to feel the love.
Which is where Cacique® Pork Chorizo comes in. And my Romantic Brunchy Big Idea to make some Pork Chorizo Empanadas. Living in California, I chose Cacique® Mexican Style products because of their high quality and because I knew I could count on their flavor. I'm feeling really proud of myself at this point, but that's not important right now.
So now the Problem Solving began in earnest. The Cacique® Pork Chorizo is pretty much perfectly spiced, I thought, but I felt like I could Cubanize (<-- Is that a word? That should totally be a word) it a little by making a sort of sofrito. I know that's a little bit like gilding the lily, but bear with me.
I figured as long as I was Cubanizing (<--That's such a great word. Am I right?), I might as well add some finely diced potato to the mix.
I know. Right??
My Romantic Weekend Brunch is ON!
Pork Chorizo and Cheese Empanadas Recipe
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 pkgs Cacique® Pork Chorizo
- 1 small onion - diced
- 1/2 small bell pepper - diced
- 2 large garlic cloves - minced
- 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 1 medium russet potato - finely diced
- bay leaf
- 5 oz. Cacique® Panela Cheese
- 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro - finely chopped
- 2 packages pre-made, refrigerated pie crust (not frozen)
- 1 egg, well-beaten, for egg wash
1) Heat the oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat.
2) Add the Cacique® Pork Chorizo and cook through for about 2 minutes.
3) Add the finely diced onion, green pepper, and garlic. Sauté until the onion is soft and translucent. About 5 minutes.
4) Stir in tomato paste, wine, and bay leaf and bring to a simmer on low heat for an additional 5 minutes.
5) Add the finely diced potatoes. Cook until the vegetables are tender and the mixture begins to thicken, stirring occasionally to keep from sticking - about 15 minutes.
6) Remove from heat and set aside. Also, remove the bay leaf at this point.
7) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
9) Prepare a parchment lined baking sheet. Unroll the pie crust dough and cut out 3" inch circles.
10) With your finger, take a bit of the egg wash and run it across one side of the 3" inch circles. This will help the empanadas seal.
11) Stir the pork mixture into the bowl with the cheese and cilantro. Mix well.
12) Fill empanadas by placing about 2 Tablespoons of the pork and cheese mixture in each circle. Fold over and seal the edges by pressing down with a fork.
13) Vent the empanadas by poking a fork in them. (Decoratively, of course.)
14) Brush them with the egg wash for a little shine.
15) Cook the empanadas at 350 degrees for about 12 to 15 minutes until they're just slightly a golden-reddish-brownish color.
- Yield: About 30 - 3" empanadas
- Prep Time: 35 minutes
- Cooking Time: 14 - 16 minutes at 350 Degrees F.
I am sooo winning Brunch with this one. Go Autentico!