I made empanadas this weekend, even as I was again saddened by the ridiculous displays the Bush administration orchestrates to completely ensure queers are not accepted. No way the Senate will pass the new amendment and still, "they" feel the need to debate it, contest it, hear themselves speak.
Yesterday at church the pastor was asked for his hand by his partner of six years. They are going to Canada in August to make it official. Everyday some incredible moment like this takes place while Bush holds parties to remind us we (insert your identity marker here) don't matter all that much.
I made the traditional cuban empanadas with picadillo (though I forgot the raisins) and also made some just for Annette, who can't eat much beef.
Here's the recipe, shortened tor allow for more creativity on the preparer's end.
Annette's Nuevo Latino Empanadas
(the modern version, 'cause mama works and plays)
Garlic and onion, minced
Baby portobello mushrooms
Left-over roasted chicken, cut into small cubes
Goya's recaito mix
Queso machego (or buy mexican queso fresco - enchilao if you can find it)
Shakes of salt and pepper (as needed)
Goya discos for empanadas (frozen section of most Latin markets and geographically-Latin community grocery stores)
Mince garlic and onion and saute in olive oil. Add a little sofrito powder and a few shakes of bijol for coloring and flavor. Add mushrooms, sliced. Once mushrooms are softened, add in chicken cubes and saute until warm, shaking adobo seasonings, adding walnuts and several teaspoons of the recaito. After a few minutes, take the mixture off the heat and add small cubes of the cheese. Mix thoroughly and let mixture cool on the stovetop.
Defrost the goya empanada discos (out of their plastic wrapping and in one or more kitchen towels). Take them apart one by one and roll them so that they are up to one inch larger in diameter than when you first pulled them apart.
Scoop the chicken mixture into one side of the empanada disco, leaving about a 1/4", give or take, and fold the other half over. With a fork, pinch the two edges together, then flip the empanada and do the same on the other side.
Fry them in vegetable oil and set them on towels. If preparing them for later use, wrap each individually in wax paper then put them loosely into plastic freezer bags. Fry within 3 days.
One thing I always do when I'm cooking is put on good music - any Putamayo compilation is an incredible choice. Or, my favorite song while making these empanadas, "Mulata" by Raul Paz. Better to listen to great music than be reminded of government failings.
Food should be made with love. Most everything should be created with love - even the intent to create should be loving. In my typical overreaction to the chaos that was the last two months of Austin, I haven't cooked here for now almost 6 months. It's a shame and I'm upset with myself. But my hands still remember how to mix the stuff together, and when they don't recall something, they fumble nicely into something that is new and delicious.
My coffee during this rediscovery? Any kind, so long as I'm not drinking it alone.