Southwest Beef Empanada & a Homemade Taco Seasoning Mix

Photo Credit:  Betty Crocker

Photo Credit: Betty Crocker

I’ll be making these once again this week.  This recipe was originally from Betty Crocker; one of my pet peeves is product placement in recipes; this is the 21st century, and bloggers are global which means that many people do not have access to Uncle Doohickey’s Gobbers, and have no idea how much “1 package” is!  When it comes to recipe ingredients, I’m a scratchaholic.  The Bisquick is a clone recipe I’ve already posted, and here you’ll find a good recipe for taco seasoning mix; there are hundreds out there on the web, but this is one I’ve used and like.

SOUTHWEST BEEF EMPANADAS

FILLING:

1  lb. (450 gr.) lean ground beef

1 oz. (30 gr.) taco seasoning mix

2/3  C. water

2-3 small potatoes, finely diced

8 oz. (225 gr.) carrots, finely sliced or diced

1  Tbs. dried minced onion (or 2 Tbs. fresh, finely chopped)

 

DOUGH:

4½  C. Bisquick mix 

1  C. boiling water

 

Heat oven to 400°F (200°C). Line a baking sheet with baking paper, or grease with butter or oil of choice.

In a pan, sauté the diced potatoes and carrots in a splash of coconut oil or olive oil a minute, then add the beef and cook, stirring occasionally, until done; drain. Stir in taco seasoning mix, the water, & onion. Reduce heat to medium; cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally.

In a bowl stir the Bisquick mix and boiling water together until a dough forms. On a surface sprinkled with Bisquick mix, roll the dough in the mix to coat; knead. Divide dough into 6 balls. Pat or roll each ball into 7-inch (18 cm) round. Place on the baking sheet. Spoon about ½ C. beef mixture onto one half of each round. Moisten the edge of each round with water and fold over the beef mixture, pressing the edges with a fork to seal. Cut 3 small slits into the top of each crust to allow steam to escape.

Bake at 400°F (200°C) for 18 to 20 minutes or until light golden brown.

 

TACO SEASONING MIX

In a small bowl, combine the following ingredients:

 

¼ tsp. onion powder

2 tsp. paprika

½ tsp. cayenne pepper

4 Tbs. flour

1 ½ tsp. powdered beef bouillon

½ tsp. sugar

3 tsp. dried chopped onion

2 ½ tsp. salt

4 tsp. chili powder

½ tsp. garlic powder

 

Mix well, and store in a sealed jar.  This should be enough for ~25 tacos.

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Swiss Cholera – Oberwalliser Lauchkuchen (Valais Leek Pie)

CholeraThis traditional Swiss recipe got its dubious name most likely during the cholera epidemics of the early 19th century; unwilling to leave the house, they used what they had on hand, packing it into a pie and baking it.  An educated guess is that, especially up in the Alps where technology was slow to come and even slower to be accepted, people were baking these either in their stone or clay bread ovens.  The apples add a nice contrast to the leeks and ham, and a good cheese makes all the difference in the world!  Raclette cheese is recommended for the reason that it’s quite a creamy melting cheese, but any good-quality cheese will work as well – Appenzeller, Gruyere, Emmentaler, etc.

Swiss Cholera

1 large onion, finely diced

300 gr. Leeks (3-4 stalks), halved lengthwise and ringed

60 gr. Ham, finely chopped

Nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste

250 gr. (6-8 med.) potatoes, boiled, chopped

2 apples, peeled, cored and chopped

150 Raclette cheese, or any good cheese, grated or diced

butter and flour for the baking form

500 gr. Pie crust dough (enough for a bottom and top crust)

1 egg yolk for brushing the top dough

Traditional Method:

Preheat oven to 200°C (400°F) Prepare the vegetables.  Saute the ham, adding spices to taste, then add the onion and leek, then add the chopped potatoes and apples; stir well, remove from heat.  Just before pouring the mixture into the prepared bottom crust, mix the grated cheese into the pan well.

Butter and flour your chosen baking form (round, or casserole), and then lay the bottom crust in.  Pour in the mixture, spreading out and topping with the top crust.  Pinch the edges together, slice away any extra dough, and puncture the top dough with a knife or fork to allow steam to escape.  Brush with the egg yolk, and bake for ~35-45 minutes.

My Method:

Preheat the oven.  Instead of sauteeing the vegetables before baking, I prepare the vegetables as described in the ingredients list, then toss them together with the grated cheese and spices before pouring it all into the prepared bottom crust.  I add a wee bit of milk, but it’s not really necessary.  Top with the top crust, pinch it together and trim away the extra dough, then bake as above.  In the boiling of the potatoes, I also added a few carrots to add a bit of colour; I boiled them with the potatoes, and chopped them both to large bite-sized bits once they were cool enough to handle.

En Guete!

Prep:  30 minutes  /  Bake:  45 minutes  /  Total:  75 minutes