Sunday, May 29, 2011

Diner Party Part 1: Sausage and Cheese Empanadas

Although the weather did not really co-operate this weekend, I still had an awesome time. It all started with a trip to Vingo where we bottled our own wine (helped by 2 Alouettes Grey Cup champions!) and then a great dinner party with some of my favorite people (our first dinner party of the summer season).

As I mentioned before, I love to host dinner parties. Since the friends we were having over are pretty open-minded when it comes to food, I took this opportunity to try out some new foods (and also to prepare some old favorites). 

Here is the menu:

Appetizer: Sausage and cheese empanadas (this would be my husband's all time favorite)
Salad: Fiddlehead & edamame salad with feta
Entrée: Mango, pineapple and chicken kebabs
Cheese course: Warm brie in puff pastry with cranberry sauce
Dessert: Hazelnut pavlova tart with vanilla-scented strawberry and rhubarb

Dinner was a huge success. Lots of wine and liqueurs were drank (thank you Tony and Frank for the wine), there were very little food leftover at the end of the night and all our guests left with a smile on their face (sign of a huge success if you ask me!). 

This week I will be featuring all the recipes from the party, I hope you'll enjoy!

Sausage and Cheese Empanadas 
(inspired by a recipe from the Home Basic magazine which no longer exists)

4 uncooked spicy Italian sausages
¾ cup shredded cheddar cheese
¾ cup shredded Monterrey jack cheese
3 green onions, finely chopped
¼ cup chopped cilantro
1 package of puff pastry (397g), thawed
1 egg, beaten
Chili powder

Preheat the oven to 400° F. Remove the sausage meat from the casings and crumble into a medium skillet.

Cook over medium heat, stirring to break up clumps, until the meat is cooked. Drain off any fat and transfer sausage to a bowl. Let cool for a few minutes, then add the cheese, onion and cilantro. Mix well.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out half of the puff pastry to a 12-inch square.

Using the bottom of a dough press cut the pastry into circles (if you do not have a dough press, using a knife, cut the dough into 4 inch squares).

Place a circle into the dough press and then add 2 tablespoons of sausage mixture in the middle of each circle.

Brush the edges lightly with water and close the dough press (if you are not using a dough press, fold the pastry in half diagonally, pressing firmly to seal and form a triangle). Place the empanadas on a silpat on a cooking sheet. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Brush tops lightly with beaten egg and sprinkle with chili powder.

Bake 15 to 17 minutes or until puffed and golden brown.

This should give you about 18-20 empanadas (be warned, they will disappear quickly!)


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