Mexican Food for a Snowstorm

I don’t know about you, but really terrible weather makes me want to eat food from warmer places, like Mexico or the Middle East/North Africa. This past weekend was no exception. Like the rest of DC (and much of the East Coast) I got snowed in by the monster storm over the weekend. So before the storm hit I made sure I had everything I needed for something tasty and sort of fusion-y Mexican empanadas. Yes, I know empanadas are a South American thing (I certainly ate a lot of them in Chile) but I decided to make a more Mexican-inspired filling for them.

Dough
1 cup flour
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1/4-1/2 cup water
1-2 tablespoons wine vinegar

Dump the flour in a bowl. Mix the water and vinegar together and pour most of it in with the flour and add the butter. Mix until a ball of dough forms, adding more water as necessary. Cover and set aside while you make the filling. It should be pliable, but the vinegar will make it even more so as it sits.

Filling
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 yellow onion, diced
1/2 a yellow or orange bell pepper, diced
1 medium zucchini, diced
1 1/2 tsp cumin
salt and pepper
2 ounces queso blanco or queso fresco
Oil

Saute the onions and garlic in oil for a few minutes. Then add the bell pepper, then the zucchini, salt, pepper and cumin. Once all the veggies are done, stick into a bowl and mix in the crumbled queso.

filling.JPG

Assembly
Roll out the dough as thin as you can without it tearing. Use a biscuit cutter, jar or small bowl to cut out circles in the dough. Heat oil for frying in a large pan. Spoon 2 tablespoons-ish of filling into each circle. Fold it into a half-moon, sealing the edges. Stick in the pan and fry until both sides are golden brown and place on paper towels to soak up excess oil. Serve with salsa.

Mex empanadas.JPG

This was a really really tasty recipe. There was something immensely satisfying about eating it while the storm raged outside. Beyond that, I just really liked the way it tasted, although I should have added chiles. When you make it you should probably add chiles – that will only improve the recipe. I has this with Anchor’s winter wheat beer, as I really love the combo of wheat beers and Mexican-esque foods. And this was a super Californian thing of me to make, so an SF beer is only appropriate. Song of the Week: Just Like Heaven by The Cure. To be honest, there isn’t any song I was obsessed with or felt strongly about this week, so I decided to just go with a classic.

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