Empanadas

There is something about food wrapped in dough that speaks to the stomach of humans. When I think of these foods I immediately think comfort. Who doesn’t love a donut or a turnover? According to the Baltimore Sun, the average person eats about 63 donuts per year. Why? Because they are awesome! Fitness buffs you may want to cover your eyes on this post. Let’s take our obsession with being the skinniest person in the room away and think about foods that actually taste good. There is always some form of dough on that list.

Empanadas are one of the most versatile foods consumed globally. Almost every country has a version of an empanada. Jamaica has beef patties, Italy has strombolis, and Germany has strudels. It’s safe to say that humans love food wrapped in dough.

Now that I’ve convinced everyone that empanadas are a big deal, let’s talk about what I’ve tried and will try soon.

1. Dos Segundos

This Mexican spot is one of the many popular restaurants in the Northern Liberties section of Philadelphia. They have great drinks and is always full. Ive been here a handful of times and always get the black bean empanadas. This empanada is their vegetarian version and is made with black beans, plantains, and queso fresco, served with a side of sour cream. I love that they thought of our veggie lovers when creating their menu.

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Black Bean Empanadas

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Yummy goodness

2. Bahama Breeze

One of the few chains I patronize… I usually eat here in celebration of a friend’s birthday. It’s a fun atmosphere that takes you to your favorite island. A live signer is always belting out Caribbean music and playing the steel drums. I always get the same thing at Bahama Breeze as well. The beef empanadas with a side of mashed sweet potatoes. They serve them with a yummy yogurt dipping sauce.

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Beef Empanadas

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Looks like curry, onions, beef, carrots, and potatoes

3. Tierra Columbiana

I will be visiting Tierra to try their empanadas. They are located in the North section of Philly. They have four different kinds: cheese, beef and potato, shrimp, and crab. My mouth is watering at the thought. So excited to try them all! I am also excited to try the other items on the menu.

Photos courtesy of Yelp…

4. Mystery location

I am visiting friends this weekend who live in New York and they have agreed to make reservations at a restaurant that features empanadas. Excitement!

More to come…

Pizza Recipes

I am so late with posting my pizza recipes. April was a very busy month for this girl! Anyway, I make a pizza every week and two of the recipes mentioned are my go-to recipes. The first recipe was my attempt to recreate a fig pizza I devoured at Dock Street Brewing Co and Earth Bread Brewery. Lets just say I need to revisit that recipe. Ha! I will refer to this recipe as my healthy pizza recipe. It just didn’t have the decadence that I experienced at the breweries. Shonn however loved it. So try it and let me know what you think. The jury is still out.

You will see that Trader Joes is in heavy rotation in my kitchen. I want to highlight two items: The marinated grilled chicken breasts and the ready made pizza crusts. Heaven sent!

Fig and Bacon Pizza

8-10 figs( I used dried but go with fresh, depending on the time of the year)

3 slices of uncured bacon

1/2 cup goat cheese

1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese

1/2 small onion, thinly sliced

2 tbs of olive oil

2 tbs of oregano

2 turns of garlic powder

1 cup of arugula

Whole wheat pizza crust

Balsamic maple glaze

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

2 tbs maple syrup

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 425. Slice the figs into halves and set aside. Cook the bacon until just crisp. Caramelize the onions in the bacon grease. Stretch the dough into the shape of a flat bread or traditional round pizza dough. Brush the dough with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Layer the crust with goat cheese, figs, bacon, onions, and mozzarella cheese.  Sprinkle the oregano, garlic, powder, and the rest of the olive oil. Put in the oven for 12-15 minutes. While the pizza is in the oven, pour the vinegar in a small saucepan. Add the maple syrup and simmer for about 5 minutes until it turns into a syrup consistency. Once the pizza is done, top with arugula and drizzle with the balsamic glaze. Enjoy!

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BBQ Chicken Pizza

2 cups of chicken breast, grilled

1/4-1/2 cup of BBQ sauce, according to your taste

1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced

1/2 cup of gouda cheese, shredded

1/2 cup of mozzarella, shredded

1 tbs of olive oil

1 tbs garlic powder

2 tbs oregano

2 tbs fresh cilantro

Pizza crust of your choice, I used the herb pizza crust from Trader Joes

Preparation

Preheat oven to 425. Stretch the crust to your liking. Layer the BBQ sauce, gouda and mozzarella cheeses, chicken, and red onion, garlic powder, oregano, and olive oil. Bake for 12-15 minutes. Once the pizza is done, sprinkle the cilantro on top. Enjoy!

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I made a pizza tonight that I didn’t get a chance to take a picture of. It was pretty simple. One side was layered with pesto sauce, grilled chicken breasts, and mozzarella cheese. The other side was layered with tomato sauce, green peppers, red onion, and a mix of monterey, mozzarella, and cheddar cheeses. The pizza was topped with garlic powder, oregano, and olive oil. Easy breezy!

Feel free to try these recipes or make your own recipe. What’s your favorite pizza recipe? Please share!

Up next, empanadas… Yum!