Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Empanaditas & Margaritas for Cinco de Mayo

click for a closer look

Cards night at my house calls for creative snack ideas. We always eat a lot and play cards a little. Usually we opt for an amazing spread of cheese and crackers, shrimp cocktail, fruit and the occasional evil peppercorn salami. But in the spirit of Cinco de Mayo we switched things up a bit and opted for some festive Empanaditas and Margaritas. The Empanaditas can be made ahead of time and frozen so all you'll have to do is pop them in the oven and focus your energy on squeezing some fresh limes for the Margaritas, well worth the effort for your amigos. Hope you enjoy! Happy Cinco de Mayo!

This is another one of my Mom's stellar recipes. The cream cheese in the dough makes it so easy to roll out and delicious to eat. Thanks Bea. Another hit!


For the dough:

- 2 1/4 cups flour
- Pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup butter, cut up into pieces
- 8 oz. cream cheese, cut up into pieces
- 2 eggs, slightly beaten
- 2 tbsp ice water

For the filling:

- 1/2 lb. ground beef
- 1/3 cup grated cheese
- 1/4 cup red wine
- 1 sm. onion, diced
- 1 clove of garlic, chopped
- 1 pinch of dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp. cumin
- 1/4 tsp. chili powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- Dash of hot sauce
- Dash of Worcestershire sauce
- 1 egg, lightly beaten for sealing the empanaditas

How to:

For the Dough:
1. Mix flour & salt in a large bowl & add butter & cream cheese.
2. Blend with fork until mixture resembles bread crumbs.
3. Sitr eggs into ice water & add to flour mixture. Stir to form dough.
4. Turn dough onto lightly floured board and knead until smooth. Add flour to your hands to keep the dough from sticking to them.
5. Form dough into a flat, round cake, wrap in foil & refrigerate for 30 minutes.

For the Filling:
1. Sauté the ground beef in a dry skillet until brown.
2. Add wine, onion, garlic, thyme, cumin, chili powder, salt, hot sauce & Worcestershire sauce & continue cooking 5 minutes or until liquid has evaporated.
3. Remove pan from heat & cool completely. Then mix in the grated cheddar cheese.

Assembling the Empanaditas:
1. Roll out on lightly floured board to about 1/8."
2. Use a 4" round cutter to stamp out discs. Makes 24 - 30 discs.
3. Brush edges of rounds with beaten egg & put 1 tsp. meat filling on each circle, leaving a 1/4" border. Fold over.
4. Dip tines of fork in flour & press edges to seal.
5. Lightly grease baking sheets. Set empanaditas on them & refrigerate for 15 minutes.
6. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Serve at once.
Note: If you decide to make them ahead of time, freeze them in a single layer so they don't stick together and bake them for an extra 8 - 10 minutes.


If you're having more than a couple of people over, mix up a pitcher of Margaritas instead of shaking them up one at a time.
But do take an extra 5 minutes to squeeze fresh limes instead of using a Margarita mix. They're tart but fresh and a little simple syrup gives them a perfect blance of citrus and sweet.

- 2 cups tequila, chilled
- 1/4 cup Cointreau, chilled
- 1 3/4 cups fresh squeezed lime juice (about 12 - 14 limes)
- 1/4 cup simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water warmed over a stove to dissolve the sugar)
- 4 - 6 lime wedges
- Coarse sea salt
- Ice

How to:
1. Mix the tequila, cointreau, lime juice and simple syrup together.
2. Add a couple of handfuls of ice cubes.
3. Rub lime on the rims of the margarita glasses.
4. Pour salt onto a plate.
5. Rub the glass rims in the salt.
6. Pour margarita into glass.
7. Add lime slice for garnish.

Makes about 6 drinks. Beware of the tequila. It'll sneak up on you ;-)


Blogger mini-me said...

sounds like a fun night! and I absolutely love magaritas. the secret is in the tequila ... :)

11:48 PM  
Blogger Lynne said...

Thanks mini. We used El Tesoro Platinum tequila. Muy Bueno! Muy strong.

8:40 AM  
Anonymous madeira mama said...

So glad the empanaditas turned out so well. Your friends must love coming to your house.

12:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I made these little guys last night...yum yum ! I like the cream cheese in the recipe.
Thanks Jenn Souza

2:57 PM  

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