Taco empanadas with taco dipping sauce

An empanada is a delicious thing. There are many variations on filling all over the world. The originated from the Ilberian peninsula in the middle ages during the time of the Moor invasion. I have a favorite, and that’s Taco Empanadas.

30 cups of all purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoon of salt
3 3/4 lb of unsalted butter cut into 120 pieces, fresh out of the fridge
20 eggs (reserve half for the egg wash)
2 1/2 to 3 cups of water
Egg wash: 10 egg whisked with 10 tablespoon milk

Add flour and salt into a bowl and mix by hand. Add eggs, butter, and water and if you wish it some seasoning, I add cayenne or dried pablano pepper powder and begin mixing until a ball of dough forms. You don’t need to knead. Roll this spiced dough out flat and cut into 200 (yes 200) small circles using a small plate. I refrigerate these stacking them with wax paper between them. Now we make the filling.

5 pounds shredded lettuce
7 1/2 pounds ground beef
2 1/2 pounds chorizo sausage
4 cans of refried beans
10 white onions diced
20 tablespoons paprika
10 tablespoons cumin
5 tablespoons black pepper
10 tablespoons hot sauce (I use this stuff Red Lightning Hot Sauce)
10 tablespoons olive oil

To make the filling get a 20 inch campfire skillet screaming hot and add the oil, ground beef, chorizo, onions, paprika, cumin, black pepper, hot sauce, and let cook 10 minutes stirring, then add in the refried beans and lettuce and stir another 10 minutes until well blended. Remove from heat and let’s fill our empanadas.

Once the mix is cooled we’re ready to start. Spoon some of the mix in the middle of the dough, and fold over pressing out air pockets and brush the edges with the egg wash. Crimp the edges with a fork, I find 1-2 tablespoons of mixture works. Repeat this until you got 200 filled empanadas and no more mixture left over, it’s fine if you do reward yourself. Then we make our dipping sauce before we fry them.

To make our dipping sauce we need: 2 tubs of sour cream, and 4 jars of salsa. The salsa I use can be found here Smoky salsa. Just mix the sour cream into the salsa until well blended with a spoon, leave the spoon on a plate next to the dip, it’s usually a bit too thick for dipping so it’s more of a topping but yummy none the less, it should be deep pinkish red in color.

Now we fry our empanadas. Fry in oil until brown in batches of 5 at a time. Remove once golden with a slotted spoon and let drain on paper towels. Absolutely delicious.


Kulebyaka with meat

What is Kulebyaka? It is a russian tradition among the yamal. It is also called Kulebiaka. Kulebiaka is a rich flaky pastry usually filled with a mixture of salmon, cabbage, and mushrooms, but many other fillings are possible, then rolled up and baked. It is served hot or cold in thick slices, with the addition of extra butter and the inevitable sour cream. My recipe here uses musk ox tendon, mushrooms, cabbage, onions and of course musk ox meat.

Why am I tossing this recipe out? Someone searched for a pastry shaped like a pig with meat. I make my kulebyaka shaped like a pig and it is sometimes done by others. Where this came from I have no idea, probably the French.

Well here we go. Many people have never cooked tendon. Tendon is very tough. Expecially musk ox tendon and or beef tendon. Tendon has a unique flavor all it’s own. I cook my tendons with onions, garlic, and apple juice.

To do this one needs a pressure cooker.

2 lb tendon (beef or musk ox tendon visit your local butcher/slaughter house)
1/2 cup apple juice
3 cloves garlic
1 onion
10 cups waters
1/4 cup apple vinegar

Mix all ingredients in a pressure cooker, bring to high pressure (15 pound psi) and cook for 2 hours! (make sure there’s enough water to prevent the bottom of the pan from drying out. They will be tender rather then tough and easy to chop when done.

Now we make the kulebyaka.

2 lb tendon
2 lb ground musk ox (or beef)
4 onions
1 cup chopped mushroom
1 cup chopped cabbage
4 lbs flour (white)

Roll and shape the dough into an oval piece 1/4-inch thick. Brown the beef and crumble, slice tendon into thin slivers, cool and add cabbage, slightly browned onions, salt, pepper and minced parsley. Pour melted butter and meat broth into the filling. Then pile it up on each piece, pinch the opposite edges of the dough and place on the buttered baking sheet, with its seam down, shaping it as a suckling-pig. To make the kulebyaka keep its shape, thicken the dough with flour on the table. To give a natural look to the pig’s ears, nose and tail and to make them safely pass through a baking process, rub flour on the table into a lump of dough intended for these purposes. Attach all details made of dough to the pie by egg, and brush the surface with egg yolk – this helps get the deep amber color. Use large black raisins or large peppercorns to imitate the pig’s eyes. I’m sorry I don’t know how much liquid to make the dough, I never measure it’s all done by feel. The dough is ready when it won’t stick to your fingers like a bread dough.

Prick the surface and sides with a fork and brush them up with the beaten yolk of egg. Bake at 410° to 426° F until it has the deep amber color.

Don’t knock it till you try it.

homemade caramel apple pop tarts

I’m a fiend for pop tarts. I love them like there is no tomarrow. My favorite caramel apple pop tarts. What can I say I’m a kid at heart!

4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoon salt
2 cup unsalted butter, cut into pats
2 large egg
4 tablespoons milk

2 additional large egg (to brush on pastry)
caramel apple Filling
3/4 cup caramel
3/4 cup apple sauce
2 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoon cold water
To make caramel apple filling: Mix the apple sauce with the cornstarch/water in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil, and simmer, stirring, for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat,mix in caramel and set aside to cool. Use to fill the pastry tarts.

Whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt. Work in the butter with your fingers, until pea-sized lumps of butter are still visible, and the mixture holds together when you squeeze it. Whisk the first egg and milk together and stir them into the dough, mixing just until everything comes together, kneading briefly on a well-floured counter if necessary.

Divide the dough in half, shape each half into a smooth rectangle, about pop tart size. You can roll this out immediately or wrap each half in plastic and refrigerate for up to 2 days.

If your dough has been chilled, remove it from the refrigerator and allow it to soften and become workable, about 15 to 30 minutes in a warm kitchen. Place one piece on a lightly floured work surface, and roll it about 1/8″ thick, large enough that you can trim into 18 pop tart sized rectangles.

Beat the additional egg and brush it over the entire surface of the first dough. This will be the “inside” of the tart; the egg is to help glue the lid on. Place a heaping tablespoon of filling into the center of each rectangle, keeping a bare 1/2-inch perimeter around it. Place a second rectangle of dough atop the first, using your fingertips to press firmly around the pocket of filling, sealing the dough well on all sides. Press the tines of a fork all around the edge of the rectangle. Repeat with remaining tarts.

Gently place the tarts on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. Prick the top of each tart multiple times with a fork; you want to make sure steam can escape, or the tarts will become pillows rather than flat toaster pastries. Refrigerate the tarts (they don’t need to be covered) for 30 minutes, while you preheat your oven to 350°F.

Sprinkle the dough trimmings with cinnamon-sugar; these have nothing to do with your pop tarts, as my lover says, it’s a shame to not give treats to the chef. While the tarts are chilling, bake these trimmings for 13 to 15 minutes, till they’re golden brown.

Remove the tarts form the fridge, and bake them for 20 to 25 minutes, until they’re a light golden brown. Cool in pan on rack.

You should have 9 pairs of pop tarts ready to eat filled with a nice yummy caramel apple filling.

Kalaches my way

Americanized kolache

4 packages dry yeast
1 cup water, lukewarm
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening or 1/4 cup lard
1/2 cup sugar
4 egg yolks
1 1/3 cup milk or whey
2 teaspoon salt
8 cups flour
1/2 cup butter, melted, for topping
2 pound smoked sausage

In a small bowl, combine the yeast with the water. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, shortening, and 1/4 cup sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy. Mix in the egg yolks, milk, and salt, combining well. Stir in the dissolved yeast and the flour, and mix until the ingredients are thoroughly blended into a soft dough. Cover the dough with a towel, and set the dough aside to rise to about double in size, approximately 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Grease a baking sheet. Pinch off pieces of dough about the size of a golf ball, flatten the balls slightly, and transfer them to the baking sheet. Place the balls at least 1 inch apart, and brush them liberally with the melted butter. Set them aside to double in size again, about 45 minutes to one hour. Gently indent the top of the dough with your thumb, fairly deep. Place the a sliced smoked sausage link in the indent and fold the kolache over the sausage and seal. Bake in 425 oven for 10- 12 minutes or until golden brown.

I also do a open traditional kolache but with a southern flare.

Proof 3 cake yeast with 3 tablespoon sugar. Add 3 egg, 2 cup milk at room temp, and 3/4 tsp salt. Add 6 cups flour. Roll dough on floured boar., Divide 1 1/2 stick butter into 4 parts and dot dough with a quarter of the butter. Fold over like puff paste and roll. Repeat three times. Let rise in refrigerator for 2 days. Roll out. Cut into small circles. Lay close on cookie sheet. Make depression in center with fingers and fill. I normally use an andouille and jalapeno cheddar cheese filling that I grind up. Brush with a little egg beaten with milk or water. Let rise. Bake at 400 for 12 minutes.

These are just so delicious. You will not stop at one.

thanksgiving leftover cupcakes

THATS RIGHT thanksgiving left over cupcakes. Mmmm cupcakes….absolutely delicious.

8 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
8 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
16 cups bread flour
16 tablespoons olive oil
8 teaspoon salt
16 teaspoons white sugar

(makes enough for 8 pizzas each pizza dough will make between 6-18 cupcakes depending on the size of your tins.)

In a LARGE bowl (your biggest mixing bowl…don’t be afraid to use your water bath canner), dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
In same bowl combine 16 cups bread flour, olive oil, salt, white sugar and the yeast mixture; stir well to combine. Beat well until a stiff dough has formed. Cover and rise until doubled in volume, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Turn dough out onto a well floured surface. Cut into 8 peices and form dough into a square loaf and roll out into a square pizza crust shape.

I use a high ball glass to cut circles in these square doughs. Spray your cupcake pan with oil to prevent sticking. DO NOT SHAVE EXCESS…you want about 1/6th-1/4th of an inch of dough hanging out. Fill these with some left overs. I’ve been using marinara sauce, turkey or ham, topped with onions and mozzarella cheese. Fill them up to about 1/4th of an inch from the top of the cupcake pan. Top with additional cheese. Place dough circle ontop of this with a small hole in the middle. Blend edges with a fork. Use the tines of the fork to press down and seal the cupcake’s top. You only need 2-3 tablespoons of sauce per cupcake.

You could also use potatoes, corn, gravy and turkey.

Bake in preheated 400 degree oven 5-6 minutes, spray tops with olive oil or corn oil, and return to oven for another 5-6 minutes. They should be nicely browned. Let cool before eating….otherwise you’ll burn yourself bad.

Can use perhaps turkey, sauteed mushrooms, and a thick peppery turkey gravy. Or with leftover roast, sliced very thin with veggies and gravy….absolutely yummy.

Roo calzone

Thats right a kangaroo calzone…with real roo! Never had a calzone? Not able to get roo? Try chicken or pork instead!

Calzone dough

2 pkg. dry yeast

1/2 c. olive oil

6 c. flour

2 c. warm water

2 tsp. salt

2 tbsp. sugar


2  lb. ricotta cheese

3 sausages (cooked and sliced)

1/2 pound roo meat cooked and shredded

2 ounces each of onions, peppers and mushroms

6 strips crisp bacon

1/2 c. grated Italian cheese

1 cup-2 cup bbq sauce (recipe follows)

egg wash

1 egg

1 tb water beaten together

Dissolve yeast in water with sugar. Let yeast rise for 5 minutes. Add oil and salt. Add flour slowly. Form dough and knead well. Place in greased bowl, cover with damp cloth and let rise for 1 1/2 hours. Punch down. Divide in 4 pieces. Roll into balls and cover until ready to use.

Combine all filling ingredients. Roll balls of dough into 9 inch circles. Spoon equal amounts of filling.Brush edges with egg wash. Fold so edges meet and seal by pressing with a fork. Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes on greased sheet. Makes 8 calzones.

Apple brandy bbq sauce

1 cup ketchup

1 cup apple brandy

1 cup water

1 tablespoons flour

2 tablespoons water

Add all ingredients to a sauce pan and simmer for 10 minutes, mean while beat water and flour together till it makes a white liquid and is free of lumps….stir it in slowly and let simmer for another 1-5 minutes remove from heat and let cool. You now have apple brandy bbq sauce.