Ladies Who Lunch Between Classes

Aside from the fact that one of downtown Athens’ most popular restaurants has an 84 health rating (eww), I really enjoyed my food. I didn’t see the health rating until I was leaving so my opinion of my food wasn’t affected by it.

My good friend Taylor at The Misadventures of a 20-Something Cook invited me to lunch at Trapeze and of course I agreed. I never turn down a chance to eat good food. The interiors were fine enough, not very decorated, it has more of a tavern feel.

I ordered the Beer and Cheddar soup and it was so delicious. I was afraid it might be too rich and I would get tired of it, but I definitely didn’t. It’s garnished with bits of bacon that add a smoky flavor, too.

And then, the universe was smiling down on us because we kept seeing people with Ben and Jerry’s ice cream cones and realized it was Free Cone Day. So, being us, we immediately jumped in line. I decided to try something new, since I wasn’t paying for it, and got the Americone Dream, which was good (I mean, it’s ice cream, come on). It’s vanilla ice cream with caramel and chocolate-covered waffle cone pieces. It still doesn’t beat out Cherry Garcia though.

All in all, it was a pretty successful afternoon :)

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Homemade Spicy Chicken Empanadas

Awhile back, I made empanadas. Homemade empanadas. The entire process took around four hours but they were worth it. My three taste testers (i.e. my roommates) loved them. I used this recipe for the dough but I made my own filling, which I’ll write out down here. The green chimichurri sauce is from her site as well.

*Note* Because I used a whisk instead of a food processor, I added an extra cup of flour because the dough was still quite soupy and sticky. I only got about 10 empanadas out of the batch and I used the rim of a wide coffee mug to cut out the circles. The dough stretches out a lot when you fold over the empanada. Now, onto the filling…

Ingredients:

1LB Chicken Breast, cubed

1 Onion, diced

1 Tomato, diced

1 Green Pepper, diced

1 Bunch of Green Onions, chopped

A couple of ounces of goat cheese, crumbled

3 Tbs Chipotle Powder (or any spicy, hot red pepper)

1 Tbs Fresh Oregano, chopped (if you make the sauce, you won’t let any oregano go to waste)

2 Tbs Ground Cumin

Salt and Pepper

1 Egg, divided (for those who don’t cook, this means separate the egg white from the yolk)

*The instructions for cooking my filling is basically the same as Laylita’s but with different ingredients so I just revised hers and I take no credit for them.

1. Prepare the empanada dough and sit them on a plate in the fridge. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

2. Melt butter in a large skillet, add the onions and salt, cook until the onions are tender. While the onions are cooking, mix chicken, chipotle pepper, cumin, salt and pepper in a large bowl chill until ready to use.

3. Add the meat mixture to the onions and cook on medium heat until the meat is done, stir frequently. Let the meat mixture cool down, and then mix in the chopped green onions and chopped oregano.

4. To assemble the empanadas add a spoonful of the meat mixture on the center of each empanada disc, add a fingertipful of tomato and goat cheese.

5. Brush the edges of the empanada discs with the egg whites, you can also use water but the egg white is a good natural “glue” that helps seal the empanada. Fold the empanada discs and seal the edges gently with your fingers, twist and fold the edges of the empanadas with your fingers, as a final step use a fork to press down and finish sealing the empanadas.

6. Lightly brush the top of the empanadas with the egg yolk; this will give them a nice golden glow when they bake. Pre-heat the oven to 400 F and bake for about 25 minutes. Serve with chimichurri sauce.

Finished result:

I don't have a fancy camera or fancy photography skills but trust me, they're golden, delicious beauties.

I highly recommend trying these out on a Saturday or Sunday. If you do, be sure to tell me how they turn out for you!