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  • How to make Empanadas

    Yield: about 20 empanadas

    Prep Time: 30 minutes

    Cook: 3 hours


    For the dough:

    1 cup water
    1 1/2 sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter
    2 teaspoons fine salt
    Pinch paprika
    2 3/4 cups (12.4 ounces) flour

    For the beef filling:

    3 tablespoons olive oil
    1 small yellow onion, peeled and minced
    1 small red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and finely diced
    1/2 teaspoon paprika
    1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
    1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
    1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
    1 pound ground beef (85-90% lean)
    Kosher salt, to taste
    1 small russet potato, peeled, finely diced, and boiled
    3 scallions, trimmed and chopped (optional)
    1/2 cup shredded Monterey jack cheese (optional)


    For the dough:

    Heat the water and butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat until butter has melted. Add in the salt, paprika, and flour. Remove from heat and stir with a wooden spoon until a wet and oily dough comes together. Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

    For the filling:

    Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat and cook the onions, bell peppers, paprika, red pepper flakes, white pepper, and cumin until onions are soft. Add the beef, season to taste with salt, and cook until the beef is browned. Drain off the fat. Add in the potatoes and scallions, if using.

    Preheat the oven to 400. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

    On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to about 1/4-inch thickness. Cut out 5-inch circles. Roll each circle slightly to further flatten before placing about 2 tablespoons of filling on each circle. Sprinkle lightly with cheese, if using. Fold over the dough and press the edges firmly to seal. Crimp with the back of a fork. Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes.

  • Arroz con Pollo (Chicken with Rice)

    How to make Arroz con Pollo (Chicken with Rice)

    Yield: 4 servings


    8 garlic cloves, minced
    1 tablespoon cider vinegar
    1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
    Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    5 to 6 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
    1 teaspoon canola oil
    1 onion, minced
    1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
    1 cup long-grain brown rice, rinsed (do not substitute white rice)
    1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
    1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
    1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
    3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
    1/2 cup Spanish olives (Manzanillo), halved


    Adjust an oven rack to the lower third of the oven and preheat to 300°F. In a large bowl combine half the garlic, vinegar, oregano, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add the chicken thighs and stir to coat.

    Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven set over medium-high heat. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook until softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the rice, red pepper flakes, and the remaining garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the saffron, tomatoes with their juices, and the chicken broth.

    Lay the chicken over the rice. Bring the mixture to a simmer, cover, and transfer to the oven. Cook until the rice is tender and the liquid is almost completely absorbed, 50 to 65 minutes.

    Transfer the chicken to a plate. Cover the pot and let the rice steam for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, shred the chicken into bite-sized pieces, discarding the skin and bones. Stir the shredded chicken and olives into the rice. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve.

    Slightly adapted from The America's Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook

  • Salted Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Bars

    How to make Salted Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Bars

    Yield: 24 bars



    • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
    • 2 1/4 cups finely ground graham crackers (from about 17 whole graham crackers)
    • 2 tablespoons sugar
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, melted


    • 3 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 3 large eggs
    • 1/2 cup purchased dulce de leche*
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


    • 2/3 cup purchased dulce de leche
    • 3 tablespoons (or more) heavy whipping cream
    • Fleur de Sel

    *A thick, sweet sauce made from caramelized sugar in milk or from sweetened condensed milk; available at some supermarkets and specialty foods stores and at Latin markets.



    Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat 13x9x2-inch metal baking pan with nonstick spray. Mix graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and cinnamon in medium bowl. Add melted butter; stir until coated. Transfer crumb mixture to pan. Press evenly onto bottom of pan. Bake until crust is light golden, about 10 minutes. Cool completely on rack.


    Blend cream cheese and sugar in processor until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute, stopping occasionally to scrape down sides of bowl. Add eggs 1 at a time, processing 3 to 5 seconds to blend between additions. Add dulce de leche and vanilla; process until blended, about 10 seconds. Spread batter evenly over cooled crust. Bake until just set in center and edges are puffed and slightly cracked, about 38 minutes. Transfer to rack; cool completely.


    Heat dulce de leche and 3 tablespoons cream in microwave-safe bowl in 10-second intervals until melted. Stir to blend, adding more cream by teaspoonfuls if too thick to pour (amount of cream needed will depend on brand of dulce de leche). Pour glaze over cooled cheesecake; spread evenly. Refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour (glaze will not be firm). DO AHEAD Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover; chill.

    Cut cheesecake lengthwise with a sharp knife or scraper into 4 strips, then crosswise into 6 strips, forming 24 bars. For cleaner squares, dip knife in hot water then wipe off excess water before each cut. Sprinkle bars with fleur de sel.

    From Bon Appetit Magazine June 2010

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