friends, family, and Flagstaff
I am up in Flagstaff today visiting Connor and watching my friend, Larry Fitzgerald, and the team at Cardinal’s camp. It is a joy to not only see them both, but to get out of the record-breaking heat in the Valley of the Sun; 114 degrees yesterday!
It literally tried to chase me up the mountain yesterday on the drive here. I left the house at about 10:30 AM and it was 106 degrees. By 11:00, I was at 2000 feet and the temperature was climbing faster than I was; 109. When I reached the Sedona turn-off, it was 11:25 and it was 111 degrees! What was going on here -what’s a girl to do? Drive faster, that’s what I did!
I could see the building clouds and the lightening ahead, so I knew there was hope. I actually stopped focusing on the thermostat, and just like a watched pot that won’t boil if you watch it, the temps finally went down and the next time I looked it was 94. When I reached Flag at 12:20 it was a lovely 84 degrees, relief at last!
In addition, I was able to have coffee this morning with my high-school girlfriend, Darcy. She sang at our wedding, 26 years ago. Don’t you just love it when you haven’t seen a friend for a few years and you just pick up where you left off, as if you had lunch together last week? It’s the best, love you, Darcy. OK, all that has nothing to do with our recipe today, these are just good, so make ‘em!
Potato, Pepper, & Chorizo Empanadas
3/4 cup finely chopped Spanish chorizo
2 onions, peeled and diced
3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 red bell pepper; cored, seeded, and diced
1/2 green bell pepper; cored, seeded, and diced
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
1 large Yukon Gold potato
1 package purchased puff pastry, thawed according to package directions
1 egg, lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon water (egg wash)
Cook chorizo in oil in a large heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring, 2 minutes, then transfer to a medium bowl with a slotted spoon. Discard all but 2 tablespoons of the chorizo drippings from the pan.
Add onions to saucepan and cook, stirring frequently, until golden, about 15 minutes. Add garlic, bell peppers, bay leaf, salt, and oregano and cook, stirring frequently, until peppers are soft, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, peel the potato and cut into 1/2-inch cubes. Stir into the onion mixture and cook over medium low heat, covered, stirring frequently, until potatoes are just tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Add potato mixture to chorizo in bowl and stir gently to combine well. Discard bay leaf and cool filling to room temperature.
Move oven racks in upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat to 400 degrees. Place 1 sheet of puff pastry on a work surface. Keep the remaining sheet covered. Roll out slightly to smooth out the seams. Using a 2-inch round cutter (or a clean tuna can with both end cut off) cut out 10 rounds. Spoon about 2 tablespoons filling into the center and fold dough in half, enclosing filling. Press edges together to seal, then crimp tines of a fork. Transfer empanadas to a baking sheet. Make 10 more empanadas in same manner, with remaining sheet of puff pastry and remaining filling. Place on a second baking sheet.
Lightly brush empanadas with egg wash and bake in upper and lower thirds of oven, switching position of sheets halfway through baking, until golden, about 15 to 20 minutes total. Transfer empanadas to a rack to cool at least 5 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Makes about 20
The empanadas freeze exceptionally well. Place unbaked and egg-washed empanadas on a small baking sheet or plate and freeze until hard. Transfer to a freezer-quality zip-lock and keep for up to 3 months. No need to defrost before baking, just add an extra 5 minutes or so to cook through and brown.