Mexican food is a great weakness of mine. I grew up eating it and will die eating it [if I'm lucky.] However, finding authentic Mexican cuisine is sometimes very difficult... and, if you're lucky enough, like me, to have a host of authentic Mexican restaurants all around it becomes very expensive to eat out. So, I think it's fitting to start my food expedition/blog with a Mexican dish made simple.
Chicken Empandas are yummy, yummy, yummy. While I had some difficulty piercing the edges to seal, the dish was extremely easy to make and delicious!
The ingredients were simple:
- 3 cups chopped, cooked chicken
- 1 (8-ounce) package shredded Colby and Monterey Jack Cheese blend (I used Colby Jack and it turned out great)
- 1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper (I actually chopped an entire bell pepper)
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 (15-ounce) package refrigerated pie crusts
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Lightly grease a baking sheet.
- In a large bowl, combine the chicken and next 7 ingredients.
- Unroll 1 pie crust onto a lightly floured surface. Roll into a 15-inch circle. Cut out rounds, using a 3-inch cookie cutter. Re-roll dough as needed. Repeat procedure with remaining pie crusts, making 12 to 15 circles total.
- Arrange 1 round on a clean, flat surface. Lightly brush the edges of crust with water.
- Place 1 heaping teaspoon of chicken mixture in the center of the round.
- Fold the dough over the filling, pressing the edges with a fork to seal.
- Arrange empanadas on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes.
It took me a little longer than expected to stuff and pierce the edges of the dough, but it was well worth it!! While I know my empanadas do not look perfect this time, with some practice I know this dish will look perfect!
In addition, I decided to add a little rice as a side dish. Even though I LOVE Mexican food, I do not like refried beans. For those of you who do like beans, adding them and some rice would be fitting for a side dish. Instead of beans, I added some broccoli and cheese to the mix. I think it turned out wonderful, so I suggest you trade in the beans and add broccoli and cheese next time!
Until next time, remember delicious Mexican food does not have to be expensive or evasive!!