greens and cheese empanadas

Happy Cinco de Mayo – Empañadas Two Ways

We hosted an early Cinco de Mayo party at our house last night with three other couples: guacamole, flan, tamales and chiles rellenos were brought, and we made (another) flan and empañadas. I made two fillings — a traditional picadillo made from beef, and a greens and cheese one — the latter mainly because we have a vegetarian in our dinner group, but they came out very tasty.

Continue reading

Recipe: Chorizo-stuffed Mushrooms

This is just a quick post for a friend, who requested the recipe for the stuffed mushrooms I brought to a dinner party over the weekend.

Sorry, no pictures. I hadn’t thought these were going to be anything special, just slapped them together.

Chorizo-Stuffed Mushrooms

20 large crimini or white mushrooms, about 2-3″ (5-8cm) across
6 oz (175 g) chorizo
3 oz (85 g) sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1 small onion, diced fine
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 oz (55 g) chopped canned green chiles
salt and pepper to taste
Juice of 1 lime
1/2 cup (225 ml) chopped cilantro
6 Tbs (90 ml) bread crumbs
4 Tbs (60 ml) grated cotija cheese (you could probably substitute parmesan)
1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) half-sharp paprika (or a little cayenne and regular paprika)
3 Tbs olive oil
1/2 cup (120ml) white wine

  1. Preheat oven to 350F/175C. Line a sheet pan with foil or parchment
  2. Wash your mushrooms.
  3. Remove the stems and dice the stems finely.
    I added four rehydrated shiitake mushrooms that were in my fridge, but there’s way more filling here than you can stuff into these mushrooms, so feel free to leave that out.
  4. Place the mushrooms gill side down on the baking sheet, and bake for about 15 minutes, or until they’ve wrinkled somewhat and let out a fair amount of liquid.
    This is a good time to dice and grate ‘n’ stuff
  5. Remove the mushroom caps from the pan and allow to cool — don’t discard the liquid that the mushrooms gave off. They’ll be about 2/3 the original size.
  6. In a large skillet, heat the oil on medium-high.
  7. Add the mushrooms, onions and  garlic, and a half-teaspoon salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until it seems to have stopped shrinking and the onions are soft.  Add the chiles, the liquid from the pre-cooked caps and the wine, and continue cooking until absorbed/evaporated
  8. Remove mushroom mixture from the heat and allow to cool. (At this point I realized I had way too much filling, but soldiered on)
  9. Add cilantro, cheddar cheese and lime juice, salt and pepper to taste and mix to combine
  10. In the same pan, cook the chorizo on medium heat until fat is rendered and it’s crisped up, making sure to break it up into small pieces as it cooks. (This could have been done with the veg, but I prepared a few of the mushrooms without the chorizo for a vegetarian in our dinner group). 
  11. Allow the chorizo to cool, drain as much fat as possible, and add the chorizo to the vegetable mixture.
  12. Put the mushroom caps face up on the now-cooled pan, and fill with the stuffing, mounding it rather high.  (This will only use about 2/3 of the stuffing. Deal with it.  It’s good in an omelet or quesadilla)
  13. In a small bowl, mix the breadcrumbs, cotija cheese and paprika. Melt the butter and stir it into the breadcrumb mixture to make sort of a streusel paste.
  14. Carefully spread the streusel on top of the stuffed mushroom.
  15. The mushrooms can be refrigerated at this point until just before serving.
  16. Bake for about 15 minutes at 350, until the tops are golden brown