Monday, November 22, 2010

Nacho Mama's "Empanadas"

If you’re anything like me, this time of year brings a flood of childhood memories.  Many of them are food-related. The holidays meant a long drive from San Diego to Oxnard. And Oxnard? Meant La Central.

La Central was the bakery where both sides of the family would go for pan dulce (which, for some reason, we called pan mexicano). We’d always stop at La Central on our way home from church on Sundays. It’s still there, where it’s always been. I can still hear the rickety screen door that would always slam behind us-we were so distracted by the delicious smells that we always let it slam.  I can’t possibly conjure the intoxicating aroma of fresh pan dulce, but I can show you what we saw-and believe me, it looked almost as good as it smelled:

And by the way-La Central has the BEST glazed doughnuts in the whole world. Better than Krispy Kreme, better than Dean and Deluca,  better than in your dreams.

But my favorite thing to get at La Central was always the pumpkin empanadas. Because I, Nacho Mama, am a pumpkin whore. You may as well know.  And today my craving for pumpkin empanadas was all-consuming. I just had to do something about it. Even though my baking skills are rather, um, lacking. Oh, I can cook ropa vieja that’d inspire you to write a poem about me-but a cupcake? (cue ironic trombone here)

So? I improvised:

I had some leftover pumpkin from the pumpkin chili I made earlier this week (told you)  and some other stuff in the fridge I thought would be good. Here’s how it all shook out:

-2/3 cup pure pumpkin
-5 oz honey-vanilla greek yogurt (I used Voskos, from Fresh and Easy-my favorite!)
-1/2c light brown sugar
-1 tube light crescent-roll dough

I mixed the pumpkin, yogurt and sugar together. Then I rolled out the crescent dough, and put a spoonful of the pumpkin mixture in the middle of each triangle, sealed it and crimped it with a fork. Ok, they looked kind of weird:

But after baking in my pre-heated 375 degree oven for 15 minutes, they looked awesome!

Not satisfied, I made a glaze with powdered sugar and lemon juice, and then sprinkled them with EDIBLE GLITTER STARS. 

Yeah, you read right! Edible glitter. I thought I’d dreamt it, but I asked the Crafty Chica if it actually existed and she told me yes! I raced to my local cake supply place and bought some. You should know that I am also a glitter whore. As far as I’m concerned, there’s not a thing or person on earth that couldn’t use a little glitter. Glitter helps me think. But I digress, the point is: they were YUMMY. And they are now gone. Were they as good as La Central? No. But they were a delicious and distant second. Plus? They had glitter.

Wishing you love with extra cheese,
Nacho Mama

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