Thursday, March 11, 2010

Caribbean Coconut Rum Empanadas Cause Jackie Deserves a GREAT Lunch

Whoop Whoop ... A new dish that works GREAT.

Could have been the first line of this post...

But instead, I am going to start this post with what I think is the best part of the dish...

Whoop Whoop... A clean out the refrigerator recipe that looks and sounds really impressive, tastes absolutely fabulous and is easier than anyone imagines.  make these and you look like a genius cook!

First, credit is due to Velma at TOMATOES ON THE VINE blog. A couple days ago, Velma posted a Spicy Beef Empanadas recipe that caught my eye.  I have had empanads as an appetizer at an Argentinian Restaurant in the past.  Her recipe looks and sounded terrific!  Spicy, as well as authentic.  

BUT, I didn't have any of the ingredients.  But I looked it over, pondered what made it sound good, and then did a little research about empanadas.  First, I discovered there really is no "authentic" recipe.  If you read over the Wikipedia listing (HERE) for emanadas, you will see they originated in Spain and Portugal, but now more than a dozen countries have their own version of what an emanada is.  The only consistent thing is that they are stuffed bread.

I did happen to have a couple bits of bread dough ready to go in the refrigerator.  These were leftover from last week when I made PIZZA STYLE FOCACCIA BREAD - Bread Baker's Apprentice.  I had only made half the recipe last week, with plans to make another this week.  Well, why not.  I should say that Velma, in her recipe, uses 3-12 ounce packages refrigerated buttermilk refrigerator biscuits for her bread.  Doesn't that sound easy.  But, I did not have any and I am trying my best to only use items in my fridge and pantry and not make daily trips to the store.

I also didn't have any beef.  BUT, I did have some chicken.  So her beef empanadas in a buttermilk biscuit breading are now chicken in a focaccia bread.  Time to change the name and claim this as an original recipe.

So, here is my recipe for...


1/2 Chicken (cooked and diced )
1/2 sweet Onion, diced
1/2 Red Bell Pepper, diced
1/2 Green bell Pepper, diced
1/2 Tomato, diced
2 slices of Pineapple, diced
6 cloves Garlic, minced
2 TBS Cajun Blackening Spices
2 TBS Cruzan Coconut Rum
2 TBS Miss Anna's Sweet and Sassy Sauce, a product of the US Virgin Islands, you can sub any BBQ sauce

Bread Dough (I have heard you can sub 3 packages of Buttermilk Refrigerator Biscuit)
Egg Yolk wash
grated Asiago Cheese

HMMM... sounds like just a bunch of crap I had in my fridge leftover from making other recipes... Shhh, don't tell Jackie, she thinks I walked to the store twice (all up hill... BOTH WAYS) just to get ingredients for her lunch.

OK, I gathered my ingredients and here's what I did...

Shove all that diced stuff in a large frying pan...

Add the Blackening spices

Add the Rum and Stir, start the pan simmering...

Add the Miss Anna's, and simmer for 20 minutes till the liquid has reduced to nothing.,...

divide dough into balls, as many as you would like... Big Balls, Big Empanadas (not as many).  Little Balls, Little Empanadas (as many as 20). 

Take a ball, roll it out flat about 1/3rd of an inch thick

Add as much stuffing as you would like, coat the edges of the dough with the egg yolk wash.

Roll the dough over the stuffing, seal the edges, add more egg wash and sprinkle on some of the cheese.

Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 25 minutes...

And they make a great lunch!


  1. What a great idea Dave! I have dough left in my fridge too - maybe I'll make a breakfast empanada!!

  2. Looks great! If you did another beautiful dish with fresh seafood, I would have had to kill you...I'd eat it 5 times a week, if I could get good stuff like that here..

  3. Ok, I love that everything you've been making is full of rum. That's just a good time right there. Heh. The empanadas look awesome!

  4. Did you see Gera's empanada post yesterday? You'd love it! Jackie is one spoiled woman! :)

  5. I can see why you are excited! It feels so good to use what you have and make something soo good!

  6. Great idea to use up leftovers and I bet they were yummy!

  7. you have some of the best ideas in blogdom :) btw, I would not waste cruzan anywhere other than in mu mouth with some pineapple juice.
    It is my absolute favorite!

    Btw, hows the new town treating ya ? by the looks of the must be awesome :)

  8. You are your coconut rum...could drive a girl to drink! Or at least add rum to everything she eats. Ever. These look and sound amazing!

  9. WOW!!! this is GREAT!!! recipe and the coconut rum sound AWESOME!!! in this recipe. THANKS!!! for the recipe.

  10. Handy little pouches for carrying down to the beach and bring that rum with to mix with some juice to wash it all down :)

  11. Dave, your empanadas turned out great. That is what I love about making empanadas, with dough, and a few items in the refrigerator, you can create a wonderful empanada.

  12. ohmyGAWD, this looks awesome! You are turning into one tropical cookin dude!

  13. These look scrumptious Dave! Love all the great recipes you've had going on this week! :-)

  14. I'm making pork empanadas next week and might have to steal your dough:)

  15. I love that you used the BBA focaccia dough for this (one of the best recipes in the book, in my opinion) and that you made it your own by using chicken. Sounds fabulous!

  16. Loving these island inspirations! A recipe with a bit of rum is a recipe for me. Another great recipe!

  17. Sounds great! lucky lady to have all these fabulous meals made for her!

  18. These sound delicious!! I have actually never made empanadas at home, I did make miniature versions once in tapas-workshop. Must try these sometime soon!

  19. Too bad you're not getting into your new lifestyle.... Come on, try to relax a bit....
    I'll keep checking.... I'm sure you'll get the hang of it. Try more rum!

  20. That's my kind of lunch - looks so tasty!

  21. An EXCELLENT interpretation of the empanada. So tasty and frugal to boot. Well done.