It started out, as my recipes often do, with A Big Idea.
With Valentine’s Day on the horizon, I’m planning a romantic weekend brunch, which is simple enough, I thought. There should definitely be an egg dish. And fresh fruit, I think. And something sweet. (Pastelitos or Cinnamon Rolls?) And coffee, of course, because I’m Cuban. But I also wanted to add a meat dish with a little bit of a kick to it to juxtapose with all of the above elements.
Also, I didn’t want to default to just plain old bacon or sausage as the meat dish, because then that would just be breakfast. I’m going for a little bit of a brunchier feel here. So I thought I’d add chorizo which would add the kick I was looking for.
Which is where Cacique® Pork Chorizo comes in to make some Pork Chorizo Empanadas. Living in California, I choose Cacique® Mexican Style products because of their high quality and the flavor I can always count on.
Cacique® Pork Chorizo is pretty much perfectly spiced, I thought, but I felt like I could Cubanize (
I figured as long as I was Cubanizing (<–That’s such a great word. Am I right?), I might as well add some finely diced potato to the mix.
And then for added flavor and to make the pork chorizo mixture more cohesive for the empanada filling, I added some crumbly Cacique® Panela Cheese.
My Romantic Weekend Brunch is ON!
Note: Click the ‘Products‘ tab above to learn more about the Cacique® ingredients used in this recipe. You can find these ingredients near you by clicking the ‘Find Stores‘ tab, selecting the products you are looking for, and entering your zip code.
WHAT YOU NEED
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 pkgs Cacique® Pork Chorizo
- 1 small onion - diced
- 1/2 small bell pepper - diced
- 2 large garlic cloves - minced
- 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 1 medium russet potato - finely diced
- bay leaf
- 5 oz. Cacique® Panela Cheese
- 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro - finely chopped
- 2 packages pre-made, refrigerated pie crust (not frozen)
- 1 egg, well-beaten, for egg wash
HOW TO MAKE IT
- Heat the oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the Cacique® Pork Chorizo and cook through for about 2 minutes. Add the finely diced onion, green pepper, and garlic. Sauté until the onion is soft and translucent. About 5 minutes. Stir in tomato paste, wine, and bay leaf and bring to a simmer on low heat for an additional 5 minutes. Add the finely diced potatoes. Cook until the vegetables are tender and the mixture begins to thicken, stirring occasionally to keep from sticking - about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside. Also, remove the bay leaf at this point.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. While the pork mixture is cooling, mix together the Cacique® Panela Cheese and the cilantro in a medium bowl.
- Prepare a parchment lined baking sheet. Unroll the pie crust dough and cut out 3" inch circles. With your finger, take a bit of the egg wash and run it across one side of the 3" inch circles. This will help the empanadas seal.
- Stir the pork mixture into the bowl with the cheese and cilantro. Mix well. Fill empanadas by placing about 2 Tablespoons of the pork and cheese mixture in each circle. Fold over and seal the edges by pressing down with a fork. Vent the empanadas by poking a fork in them. (Decoratively, of course.) Brush them with the egg wash for a little shine.
- Cook the empanadas at 350 degrees for about 12 to 15 minutes until they're just slightly a golden-reddish-brownish color.