Sunday, July 8, 2012

Fresh Tomato Salsa, Guacamole and oh yeah, Guava Cheese Empanadas

Week 2 was HOT, so it is a good thing we were making salsa and guacamole!  For the campers I kept it pretty simple and not overly spicy.  Truth be told, I like my guac simple because I love the taste of avocados so I want that to come through.
Fresh Tomato Salsa

3 tablespoons finely chopped onion
2 small cloves garlic, minced
3 large ripe tomatoes, peeled and seeds removed, chopped (We didn't peel them.)
2 hot chile peppers, Serrano or Jalapeno, finely chopped (I used less for the younger campers.)
2 to 3 tablespoons minced cilantro
1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons lime juice
salt and pepper

Put chopped onion and garlic in a strainer; pour 2 cups boiling water over them then let drain thoroughly. Discard water. Cool. (I actually didn't do this step with the campers because of time constraints.)
Combine onions and garlic with chopped tomatoes, peppers, cilantro, lime juice, salt, and pepper. Refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours to blend flavors.  (Each group ate their own right away but it still tasted delicious.)
Makes about 2 cups of salsa.

2 avocados
½ lime
salt and pepper to taste
Cut the avocados in 1/2, remove the pits, and scoop the flesh out of their shells into a large bowl. Immediately add the lime juice, salt, and pepper and toss well. Mash the avocados to desired texture.   Mix well and taste for salt and pepper.  Serve with chips.

I like to put this on my cheeseburger.  yummmm.  Sometimes I mix the salsa and the guac together.  nom nom nom.

The older campers made empanadas with guava and cheese.  I wanted to see if I could bake them instead of fry them, so I tried them at home with Lilly the day before.  She was really good at closing the edges with the fork so I knew the older campers would be fine.

Aren't they pretty?  I think so.  So in the baked versus fried contest the fried won.  They actually tasted heavier when they were baked because the dough is meant to be fried.  When baked they puffed up and did not really get crispy.  They just tasted...doughy.  I brushed them with an egg wash to get the nice golden color.

I think that if I was making these for my family on a regular basis I would figure out what to do so that I could bake them and get a nice light taste.  I had never made them before, but I would make these again.  They were easy to make and delicious!  But they are most definitely a treat, and as such, I will probably just fry them.  See how flaky they got?  Deliciously so! 
Guava Empanadas 
Recipe courtesy Food Network Magazine
makes 10 pastries
1 8-ounce package cream cheese
1 large egg
1 tablespoon sugar
Grated zest and juice of 1 lime
3/4 cup guava paste
1 14-ounce package frozen empanada wrappers, thawed
Vegetable oil, for frying 
Pulse the cream cheese, egg, sugar, lime zest and lime juice in a food processor until smooth.
Put 1 tablespoon guava paste in the center of each empanada wrapper, then top with 1 tablespoon of the cream cheese mixture. Fold the dough over the filling and press the edges with a fork to seal.
(Heat about 11/2 inches vegetable oil in a wide saucepan until a deep-fry thermometer registers 350 degrees F. Working in batches, fry the empanadas until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes per side. (Return the oil to 350 degrees F between batches.) Drain on a paper towel-lined plate.) Dust with confectioners' sugar. 


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