Regional Holiday Recipes


Chorizo Potato Black Bean Empanadas


Empanada Filling

1 lb. Chorizo

½ cup small diced waxy potato (red or yellow)

½ cup small diced white onion

¼ cup small diced green pepper

¼ tsp chili powder

½ tsp finely chopped fresh garlic

¼ tsp cumin

½ cup black bean (drained and rinsed)

Salt to taste

1 cup finely shredded cheese (I use the Monterey Jack blend)


Empanada dough


A couple options: use your favorite pie dough recipe, ready-made pie dough sheets, or in some markets there are empanada wrappers available.  If using pie dough (fresh or ready-made) it needs to be rolled out relatively thin. Otherwise the empanadas will be pastry heavy.




In a large skillet on med-high heat, add the chorizo to the pan first.


(Side note: I use the chorizo that comes in 6 individual tubes. The tubes need to be cut open and the chorizo squeezed out. Discard the tube wrapping!)


Break up the chorizo in the pan using a wooden spoon. Add the all the rest of ingredients, except the black bean and salt. Chorizo can be rather salty, so season last.


Sauté meat mixture until the meat is browned and the onions are translucent. Take off heat.  Add the black beans. Mix. Taste. Add salt or other seasonings if desired. Let cool to at least room temperature.


Roll out dough (if using), and cut into circles. (I use a water glass that has at least an 4 inch diameter).  Using a small spoon, take some of the chorizo filling and place in the center of the dough circle. Sprinkle with cheese. Now either another dough circle can be placed on top for a full circle empanada OR the one dough circle can be folded over to create a half moon empanada.  Use a fork to seal the edges of the empanadas.


Place on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil or parchment. Bake at 375 degrees until golden brown, about 20 minutes.


Let cool. Serve with sour cream (flavored or plain), salsa, or a spicy aioli



Avocado and Smoked Salmon Spring Rolls



2 tsp. sesame oil

1 garlic clove, pressed or minced

1 tsp. low-sodium soy sauce

3 Tbs. spicy peanut sauce (plus more for dipping)

¼ cup finely chopped roasted, salted peanuts

7 oz. thin dried rice noodles

12 rice-paper wrappers, each 8 1/2 inches in diameter

1 red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced

2 ripe avocados, pitted, peeled and sliced

2 carrots, peeled and cut into matchsticks

1 cucumber, peeled, deseeded and thinly sliced

1 cup packed mixed fresh mint, cilantro and thai basil (regular basil works in a pinch as well)

6 oz thinly sliced smoked salmon, cut into 2 inch strips


  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add the rice noodles, stir to separate and cook until tender, 3 to 5 minutes or according to the package instructions. Drain in a colander and rinse under cold running water. Wipe the pot dry, return the noodles to the pot and toss with the sesame oil, chopped peanuts and 3 Tbs. peanut sauce. Set aside.
  2. Arrange your prep station/counter as an assembly line starting with a large shallow bowl (I use a large skillet) filled with very hot water. Put all the ingredients either in individual bowls or placed separately on a cutting board. Place an empty cutting board in front as your rolling station. Have an empty tray nearby to place the spring rolls once complete.
  3. Soak the rice-paper wrappers, 1 at a time, until flexible, about 30 seconds. Shake off any excess water and place flat on the empty cutting board. Arrange a combination of noodles, bell pepper, avocado, carrots, cucumber, salmon, and herbs across the center of the wrapper; fold the ends in over the filling and then roll up tightly from the edge closest to you. Repeat to make the remaining rolls.
  4. Cover immediately and refrigerate.
  5. When ready to serve, cut on a bias and serve with peanut sauce and/or sweet chili sauce











 provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s