One great joy of summer vacation is that I get to work through my back log of saved recipes from the school year. I tried a great salad the other day that combined about three different recipes and was just about perfect. (Will post later) Last night I tried another NY Times recipe – this time for a vegetarian empada.
This starts out with a simple red onion and garlic dice. I fully admit to using way more garlic than the recipe calls for (I used three cloves) but this was the right call. These little dears may have a puffed pastry shell, but they are filled with veggies – eggplant, zuccchini, tomato, squash.
Getting everything cooked together isn’t hard – it does take time, but once its all chopped up, its pretty easy. To save time I chopped the squashes and eggplant while the onions and garlic cooked then chopped the tomato and herbs while the squash cooked.
The biggest pain portion of making these was the dough. Yes, I used store bought puffed pastry, but cutting, rolling and closing these is not the easiest thing in the world. I am pretty bad at making food look perfect (or even really good sometimes) but I didn’t do too bad on these. The original recipe called for making six, but I didn’t have a six cup muffin pan – I have twelve. So I cut a little extra dough, made each a little smaller and thinner, and made nine little empadas.
Because I made these smaller than the recipe calls for, I reduced the cooking time to about 20 minutes. I could have gone a little less I think, but I wanted to make sure the filling was hot since I made them ahead of time and kept them in the fridge until it was time to cook them.
Not bad, right? They look like little muffins and I even managed to remove them from the pan without breaking any.
The verdict? Good. Very good. A make again good, but I may need to change the recipe just a little more. As much as I hate to admit it (because I really like this no meat cooking thing) I think I may use beef broth to mix with the flour next time. Bob thought they needed a little something and I do agree. If I liked mushrooms, those could work too, but I wanted something with a deeper flavor to truly love these. So overall a good experiment and fairly successful.