Empanadas for Valentine’s Day ❤️

Empanadas are little hand-held pies that can be served as an appetizer, lunch or dessert depending on the size and filling. Traditional empanadas are shaped like half moons.  We were inspired by the upcoming celebration of Valentine’s Day so we shaped ours into hearts that you can enjoy with your special someone. ❤

These empanadas smelled so good while they were baking, for a moment we thought we were walking down a street in Argentina!  We could hardly wait to eat them. They are filled with a delicious combination of meat, vegetable & cheese.

Servings: 6-8 (depending on the size of your cookie cutter. We used a 5″ x 4″ heart-shaped)

Ingredients

  • 1 Easy Empanada Flaky Dough Recipe
  • 3 Tablespoons EVOO
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced (or frozen cubes)
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 6 ounces fresh baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3 Tablespoons salted butter
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup grated Monterey jack cheese (cheddar or any cheese of your choice)
  • 2 Tablespoons grated parmesan Reggiano
  • 2 lbs bulk hot country sausage, no casings  (we use Neese’s)
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1½ tsp ground cumin
  • salt & pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Prepare the Easy Empanada Flaky Dough 
  2. Preheat oven to 400° F.
  3. Sauté onion & garlic in EVOO on medium-low until soft & lightly golden, 5-10 minutes. Add oregano & cumin. Stir another minute.
  4. Turn heat up to medium and add spinach, cook, stirring until spinach is wilted & soft, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat & let cool. Season with salt & pepper.
  5. Put bulk sausage in skillet, Cook and brown while breaking up into smaller pieces until done.
  6. Remove from heat and spoon sausage meat onto paper towels removing as much fat/grease as possible. Do not clean skillet at this time, keep sausage fat in skillet.
  7. Add flour to the skillet and whisk the milk gradually until mixture is smooth.
  8. Add butter and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly until mixture comes to a boil and is thickened.
  9. Remove from heat and whisk in the eggs. Return to heat and cook, stirring until mixture comes to another boil and thickens, the sauce will be a paste consistency.
  10. Remove from heat and stir in the cheeses. Season with salt & pepper to taste.
  11. Chop the cooled spinach, onion & garlic mixture. Add into the cheese sauce along with well-drained sausage.
  12. Roll out the empanada dough to 1/8″ thickness. Cut 2 hearts with a 5″ x 4″ heart-shaped cookie cutter. Brush the edges of 1 heart lightly with egg wash.
  13. Place 2 Tablespoons of filling in center of the heart, cover with another heart-shaped cutout. Press edges together firmly all around with thumb or forefinger forming a sort of scalloped edge. Brush with egg wash then bake about 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Best served warm.

Did you make this recipe? We would love to hear from you. Please leave us a comment below or Tag @twinsinthekitchen on Instagram and hashtag it #twiinsinthekitchen.

 

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Grandma Tessie’s Cauliflower Frittata

grandma tessie

Whenever we visited our beautiful, tiny,  Grandma Tessie, we always looked forward to her cauliflower frittata (“cauliflower pie” as she called it). Although she never learned how to cook before getting married, it wasn’t long before she became a wonderful cook. Unfortunately, she never wrote down any of her recipes which have led us to weeks of trial & error to recreate. We’re happy to say we finally got it!❤️

Ingredients

    • 1/4 cup chicken broth or stock
    • 1 head cauliflower, florets only (16-ounce frozen cauliflower florets may be substituted)
    • 1 clove garlic, minced
    • 1 large onion, chopped
    • 8 eggs, beaten
    • 1 Tablespoon light or heavy cream
    • 3/4 cup Pecorino Romano cheese, grated
    • 1 Tablespoon Italian seasoned bread crumbs (for Gluten-free either omit breadcrumbs or replace with 4C® Gluten-free seasoned breadcrumbs)
    • 4 Tablespoons EVOO
    • Salt & Pepper to taste
    • Frittata Pan ( a large skillet with a cover can be used in place of a frittata pan)

Instructions

  1. Cook fresh cauliflower florets in a large pot with chicken broth and salted water. If using frozen cauliflower florets add chicken broth to cauliflower and microwave on high 8 minutes…either method, cook until soft but firm, not mushy.
  2. Drain the cauliflower and set aside in a medium bowl to cool. Once cooled, chop the cauliflower into smaller pieces
  3. Spray skillet with cooking spray to prevent sticking.
  4. On med-high heat add 4 Tablespoons EVOO and heat until hot.
  5. Add onions and cook on med-high until golden brown & caramelized.
  6. Add garlic, cook an additional 1 minute. Add chopped cauliflower, sauté on medium heat for about 5 minutes, meanwhile…prepare egg mixture
  7. After beating the eggs add cream, Pecorino Romano cheese, bread crumbs, salt, and pepper, mix well.
  8. Lower heat to med-low and pour the egg mixture into the skillet and stir to mix then cover. Cook until eggs set about 5-6 minutes. Watch closely that it doesn’t burn.
  9. Using a large plate, cover the top of the skillet so you can flip the pan over and back into the skillet for an additional 5 minutes. Make sure you use oven mitts to protect your hands from getting burned while flipping.
  10. If using a frittata pan, simply flip the pan over to other pan side and continue to cook for 5 minutes.
  11. Insert a toothpick into the center to test for doneness. If still clinging to toothpick cook additional time until toothpick comes out clean.
  12. Slide frittata onto a serving dish and garnish with parsley sprigs and grated cheese (optional).

Frittatas can be served warm or room temperature and make a great brunch item or side dish for any meal.

For a variation try using your favorite vegetables in place of cauliflower.

Did you make this recipe? We would love to hear from you. Please leave us a comment below or Tag @twinsinthekitchen on Instagram and hashtag it #twiinsinthekitchen.

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