Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Chicken Empanadas

A good friend of mine suggested that I try these empanadas because someone from her office had made them and they were outstanding.  Well, I had a Junior Hospitality get-together last night and decided to whip these up as my contribution.  BTW, if you're unfamiliar with JH, you should click on the link in my blog list.  It's a great organization and I love being a member!  But, back to the subject at  The important stuff. 

Since the meeting was early in the evening on Tuesday, I actually put these little suckers together on Monday night.  The recipe states that you can make these and then freeze them for up to one month.  Because of this, I decided to put them all together the night before and refrigerate them overnight.  Then yesterday I popped them in the oven for the fifteen minutes required when I got home.  Here's what they looked like pre-baking:

And here's what they look like as I was walking out the door last night, post-baked.

I have to say that I did not include the red bell pepper that is listed in the ingredients list...I had used all of that up on Susan's meatloaf.  Oops!  To make up for that, I put three instead of one jalapenos in the mix.  I only used half of the filling mixture and froze the rest; there just wasn't any more pastry crust left!  So, I would definitely recommend having more pastry available when creating these tasty nuggets, otherwise you'll be like me and have leftovers. 

I'm going to add the bell pepper to the leftover mix and whip up the rest of these sometime soon, just to see the difference the red bell pepper makes.  I guarantee it'll make a beneficial difference, I love red bell pepper in case anyone was wondering.  And I must say that the empanadas were a little salty for my taste.  Red bell pepper adds a sweetness factor, so I'm hoping that will balance out the sweet versus saltiness flavors a little bit.  Otherwise, the next time I make these I would reduce the salt content by half.  Saying that, I was the only one who thought they were a tad salty; all the other girls gave them a thumbs up.  Sooo...I guess that's simply a preference.  I'll report back on my recommendations for this recipe once I've completed this entire batch.

Not to go off on a tangent...but, I am...I do not add salt to anything I eat.  You get more than enough sodium in the regular day-to-day food you eat that I do not feel the need to heavily salt the finished product.  Nor do I add large amounts of salt when I'm cooking.  When a recipe requires "salt and pepper to taste" I'll add a good amount of pepper, but only a dash or so of salt.  Obviously, with baking it's a necessity...there's a chemical reaction that needs to occur, so I'll add the required amount in these instances.  Anyway, that's just me...not a big salt fan!  Is there an ingredient that you use sparingly in your recipes?

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