Monday, December 8, 2014

Some recipes for the Holiday Season.

I hope that all of you had a wonderful and fun Thanksgiving and are ready for the Christmas Season.  Got some of my shopping started, but not finished yet. 

We have arrived in Tucson, staying at a very nice RV park called Desert Trails, enjoying the warm weather, restaurants and seeing friends.  So, my recipes below have a little bit of a Tucson flavor.

We are not decorating the RV until we get to Benson on the 13th, so I do not have my tree and reindeer up yet and it is killing me.   Will add a picture of the tree when we put it up.

Here are some easy and delicious recipes for your enjoyment.   I kept them simple this time since everyone is rushed during this wonderful time of the year, well, at least a couple of them are.

Spicy Sweet Potato Fries


1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
2 large sweet potatoes
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon brown sugar


1. Brush an aluminum foil-lined jelly-roll pan with 2 tsp. olive oil. Heat pan in a 425° oven 5 minutes.
2. Peel sweet potatoes, and cut into 3- x 1/2-inch strips. Combine strips, salt, chili powder, brown sugar, and remaining 1 tsp. oil in a large zip-top plastic freezer bag, tossing to coat.
3. Place strips in a single layer in prepared pan.
4. Bake at 425° for 30 minutes or until crisp, stirring every 10 minutes.

Bake Brie with Pecans and Brown Sugar

1-8 oz round of brie with rind intact
3 tbsp. brown sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans
1 sheet puff pastry (thawed)
Granny Smith Apples, sliced
butter crackers or light crackers (for serving)

Preheat oven to 350°F.
Line a baking pan with parchment paper for baking. Spread out puffed pastry on a flat surface.
In a separate bowl, mix pecans, sugar, cinnamon.
Spread nut mixture onto the center of the pastry. Place brie atop the nut mixture. Fold pastry over the brie to enclose everything like a package and pinch the pastry closed so it is sealed. Flip pastry package over and place on baking tray with folds on the bottom.
Bake in oven for about 20-30 minutes or until the pastry is browned and golden.
Serve with crackers and sliced apples.
Now, for a recipe that is not so easy but well worth it.    These are fun to make and delicious but take quite a bit  of work.  We got the recipe from New Mexico Magazine ages ago and try to make them every year. 

Apple and Green Chile Empanadas

Makes 12-16 Empanadas

Cream Cheese Dough

1 c. butter, softened
6 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/8 tsp. salt
2 c. all-purpose flour

Cream butter and cream cheese until fluffy; add salt.  Combine flour with butter-and-cheese mixture until just blended together.  (Do not overwork dough.)  Form dough into a circle, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill at least 1 hour.

Apple and green chile filling 

3 medium-size apples
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. water
1/3 c. honey
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 c. pecans, lightly toasted and chopped
1 1/2 c. green chili, peeled, seeded, drained, diced (add more green Chile to taste) (if you need to use canned green chili, this is about 3 4-ounce cans)

Peel, core and dice apples on small pieces.  Place in saucepan, add sugar and water.  Cook over medium heat until water has evaporated and apples are cooked but still hold their shape.  Add honey and cinnamon, and cook until mixture has thickened (it should be sticky and hold together).  Stir in pecans and well-drained New Mexico green chili.  Place in bowl, cover, and chill.

To prepare empanadas:
1 egg
2 tsp. water
Cream Cheese Dough
Apple and green Chile filling
2 oz. Cheddar cheese
turbinado (crystalline) sugar

 Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Line sheet trays with parchment paper.  Beat egg with water. 
Divide dough into two equal pieces.  On lightly floured surface, roll one piece of dough into circle or rectangle 1/4 inch thick.  Cut in circles, using floured, 4-inch diameter round cookie cutter.  Gently remove excess dough.
Fill each circle with large teaspoon of filling and sprinkle with grated cheese.  Brush edge of dough with egg wash.  Gently fold circle in half, making sure filling is completely covered.  Place on parchment-lined sheet tray, brush with egg wash, sprinkle with turbinado sugar.  Bake 15-20 minutes. 
Cool 10 minutes and serve warm.  If not serving immediately, cool to room temperature and store in sealed container.

Well, enjoy and hope you like the recipes.  Let me know.

Merry Christmas to you and yours and a Happy New Year!


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