Em is an awesome eater – there is no doubt about that.  She is fairly good about trying new foods, which is fun, but not great about eating veggies, so I do have to get creative.  She will generally try them once and then that is it.  (except the other day when she gorged herself on lettuce with peppercorn ranch dressing for dipping.  She did try the tomato, dipped it, chewed, it and then gave it back to me.)

So Friday I got bit by the cooking bug and made her empanadas.  I found a couple of recipes online but really just did my own thing in an effort to get more veggies into her (yes, I am the queen of hiding veggies. She may not know they are there, but this kid eat healthy!)

Here they are fresh out of the oven:

And Em’s plate after she ate hers (with ketchup):

And this go me wondering how much she really ate, so here is what she left next to a whole one:

Very impressive!

And because it is good to share (unless Emily is browbeating you into sharing, which does happen occasionally…)  here is how I made them.

First I browned the ground chicken.  I brown chicken in oil and butter for flavor and I used lots of onion because, well, obviously…  worchester sauce, and whatever else I dumped in… and let the whole thing simmer in chicken stock to soak up flavor.  I like ground chicken but it needs a lot of flavoring doesn’t it?  I don’t think I added enough, but hey, check out picture #3!

When that was done, I poured it into  container and let it cool completely.  I am not 100% sure why, but one of the recipes I used to guide me said to do this so I did.  When it was cool I added 1 whole zucchini grated (I use the large grate holes), 2/3 a sweet potato grated, and one apple (gala I think but I would have used granny smith if we had any left) grated.

Then I added (guided by recipes), 2 tablespoons of sour cream (which I think took Em some time to get used to, I could taste it and can see her being confused by it), 2 tablespoons panko, 1 egg (beaten) and cheese – lots of cheese.

I tried to find empanada wrappers at Stop and Shop but after asking 3 people I realized that was never going to happen (I got a lot of odd looks…), so I went with the 16 ounce biscuit cans – the kind you peel and they pop open.  I rolled each one out to about 2 times its size, added filling, folded in half, crimped with a fork, brushed on egg and baked and voila!

Sometime this week we will find out how they heat and if I can heat them in the microwave or not… stay tuned…


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