A mother-daughter conversation on food and cooking (mostly)

Sunday, April 15, 2007


While Eva and Lawson were visiting us we decided to have a tapas evening, with everyone contributing one or two dishes. There were a few times during the day when it threatened to escalate into an Iron Chef competition, but we got through that.

We started out on the patio with fresh garden crudites (baby carrots, radishes, and snow peas) by Dick, served with aioli. Grandma brought a plate of cold sliced sausages garnished with grapes.

Next was Grandma’s homemade bread spread with aioli (homemade garlic/olive oil mayonnaise) and topped with sauteed mushrooms seasoned with sherry.

I’m beginning to forget the order here—but I think next was my squash-filled empanadas with chimichurri sauce. At the same time Eva presented two brilliantly colored salads: sliced baked beets dressed with orange juice beside marinated cucumbers with sesame oil and lemon.

Just when we were beginning to flag, Lawson served his Vietnamese shrimp cakes, made with shrimp, chickpea flour, and lots of ginger, and served with two sauces: one Thai sweet chili sauce and one yogurt-cilantro. These were beautifully plated with a dusting of herbs and a painting of the chili sauce.

For dessert we had Eva’s vanilla pudding, cardamom-infused and made with heavy cream!

There was constant cooking and dishwashing throughout the evening. We had a great time. I am recording the empanada dough recipe here, because it was spectacularly easy to make and handle. It’s from the February 2007 Cuisine at Home magazine.

Empanada Dough

2 ½ cups flour
½ cup butter, chilled
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon sugar

Pulse together in food processor until crumbly.

1/3 cup cold water
1 egg

Add water and egg and pulse until dough forms ball. (I rested the dough in the refrigerator for an hour, but the recipe doesn’t call for it).

Form into 6 balls. Roll each into a 7-inch circle. Fill, fold in half, and seal with a fork. Brush with a little beaten egg and bake at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes, until golden.

1 comment:

Eva said...

Those empanadas were magnificent the next day -- perfect airplane food. You packed us quite a lunch, what with the empanadas, the dates, the grapes, the apples...it was wonderful.