Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Dinner With Friends

I love hosting friends at our house for dinner.

My friend Emily and I collaborate regularly on what we like to call family dinners.  We'll make our favorites, or try out new recipes. Whatever the menu, it's always a tasty and lovely time.

This weekend she brought falafel from the best/easiest falafel recipe EVER.  I found this recipe by visually searching on foodgawker (Go there now, I'll wait. ) I love searching for recipes on foodgawker because it catalogs many many food blogs, and it's a visual smorgasboard.

However, the recipe I found on foodgawker was based on the one that is found here here, which I find to be superb! I promptly shared it and am excited to share it again. 

The falafel were eaten with pita pockets and a delicious cucumber dill sauce and gone before I even had time to take a picture!!

I made empanadas for my contribution to family dinner.

Easily intimidated by pastry, I haven't made empanadas (or many foods that require a crust or a dough... Ryan's the baker around this house)  but I wanted to try it anyway.  Even though it's not my forte I am not opposed to the occasional culinary risk.  Sometimes I just have to get out of my comfort zone of chopping and roasting. Often it yields fantastic results (recall the ham) or a disaster... either way I have fun doing it. 

I could have googled endlessly and found many opinions and methods on empanada dough, but I just needed one easy recipe from a trusted source.  So I turned to my friend How To Cook Everything for a reliable dough recipe, and Mark Bittman didn't let me down.  It was probably one of the easiest things I have ever made. It required flour, vegetable oil and water and my beloved food processor.  I wish I would have taken a video of the dough coming together because it was awesome!  And oh so easy.

Ryan helped roll out the dough and turn it into tiny 6 inch rounds... 


The great thing about these little pastries, found in many cultures and by many names, is that you can fill it with anything you desire.  I chose spicy sausage, peppers and a little cheese.  I also made an apple filling for desert! 

Yum.  I look forward to more experiments with empanadas...  and many more dinners with friends. 

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