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Spice up autumn foods with Latin-inspired flavor

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Butternut Squash and
Goat Cheese Empanadas

Yield: 12 empanadas

Ingredients

2 sheets of frozen pie dough (or your favorite pie dough recipe)

1 tsp. olive oil

1/4 cup diced onion

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 tsp. cumin

1/4 tsp. cardamom

1/4 tsp. ground ginger

1/2 tsp. Paprika

1 cup dried cranberries

1 cup puréed butternut squash (or pumpkin)

3 ounces goat cheese

1/4 tsp. ground black pepper

1 egg, beaten with 1 T. water

kosher salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F, and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Heat olive oil in small pan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, and sauté about 2 minutes. Stir in cumin, cardamom, ginger and paprika; cook until fragrant, about 3 to 5 minutes; let cool slightly.

In a medium bowl, mix onions, squash and goat cheese, leaving some large chunks of goat cheese intact. Fold in dried cranberries. Add pepper and remaining salt to taste.

On floured surface, roll out dough to approximately 1/8-inch thick. Using 4-inch round cookie or biscuit cutter, cut dough, re-rolling scraps as needed.

Place 1 tablespoon filling in center of each circle, then fold dough in half so edges meet. Crimp with fork, and place on baking sheet.

Brush empanadas with beaten egg, sprinkle with kosher salt, and bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

Adapted from “Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese Empanadas”, Hobby Farms Magazine, HobbyFarms.com

Updated: November 17, 2013 6:13AM



The word “fusion” in the food world elicits mixed emotions from culinary enthusiasts.

Melding together two or more culinary traditions could be innovative, and the confederation of very different ingredients might create flavors that are completely unknown. Yet, fusion also has the potential to become an ill-fated trend, a fusion fail.

Surprisingly, though, one fusion fad has humble beginnings. It hasn’t yet been hoisted into the mainstream and so it sits as sort of a new-fangled, creative culinary practice.

This empanada sandwich has butternut squash and goat cheese in a molten pocket of fall flavors. It works because it’s complementary.

As ethnic as an empanada may be, it is still a pastry. And housing a mild blend of pureed squash, goat cheese and a rustic blend of spices moves this traditional Latin feast a just few notches away to enter the realm of American comfort food.

If anything, it gives off more of a Thanksgiving flavor vibe: the earthiness of the squash, the slight tart flavor of creamy cheese, and just a hint of a medley of Old World spices is the only real fusion here.

Prepare these empanadas on a cool autumn day when the squash is ripe and you’re ready for the perfect combination of the heartiness and mildness that flavor a fall recipe.

If you don’t want to go through the hassle of preparing a from-scratch pie dough, skip it and purchase the rolls of pastry from the grocery store instead.

Superb for chilly autumn picnics, these empanadas can be prepared in advanced, saved for baking and easily toted on the road.

With a fusion so indistinguishable, there is no need to build a menu based off of one cuisine around them.



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