My dear neighbor Adrianna shares her home with a Peruvian couple with a big family - and two of his sisters are visiting. When I went over to their house last week they served me freshly baked warm alfajores - delicious little shortbread-like cookies with dulce de leche sandwiched in between. This of course lead to a discussion of our mutual love of cooking, which in turn lead to my suggestion that we spend the day cooking some Peruvian food together! So yesterday from about noon to three the "Tres Concineras" had a wonderful time using sign language and my very limited Spanish to create a fabulous meal for about 13 people. Of course all our dishes were planned around what is fresh at the market right now. Our first course was Mushroom Empanadas.
Mushroom Empanadas made about 18
2 tablespoons each butter and olive oil
1/2 yellow onion finely chopped
1 small clove garlic chopped
1 basket brown mushrooms very finely chopped
salt and white pepper to taste
1/4 cup creme fraiche
1 lb pie dough (I cheated - bought some lard dough from Prather)
1 egg beaten with a little water
In a large saute pan melt the butter and oil and add the onion. On medium heat cook until soft, but don't brown. Add the garlic and then the mushrooms. Cook for about 10 min on higher heat with a little salt. Splash in the sherry and let it boil away. Let cool slightly then add the creme and pepper and taste for seasoning. Roll out the dough until pretty thin approx. 1/8 inch and then cut into rounds about 4 or 5 inches. Place a teaspoon of the filing in the middle and press into a half moon crimping the edges to seal then place them on a baking sheet. When ready to bake brush with beaten egg. Bake at 400 degrees for about 10 min or until browned. Muy Rico!!
Post Note: More Peruvian delights to come... and I'm going to be working on my Spanish as I just signed Rich and I up for a conversational Spanish class. And aren't those zinnia's gorgeous!!?? I've never really had them before but the real beauty is that they last for weeks - as long as you remember to give them lots of water - they soak it up!