A treasure trove of antique recipes is tucked away into the stacks at the University of Texas San Antonio Library’s special collections. Thumbing through the books is fascinating even if you aren’t fluent in Spanish. It’s obvious by the sketches and ingredients that ‘food’ translated in any language means ‘love’.
I asked local chef Melissa Guerra, who has the fabulous kitchen store at Pearl, to translate a recipe and show us how to prepare it. They’re super easy to make, and wow, are they good! Check out the video before you make these. I’d serve with a chardonnay.
To Make the Filling:
Heat the olive oil in a 10″ frying pan. Add the onions, and sauté until translucent. Carefully cut the oyster mushrooms from their center stalk and add to the pan. Sauté until the mushrooms are tender, about 7 minutes. Add the oysters or mussels, and tarragon, and sauté for another minute. Remove from heat.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Unfold the puff pastry, Usually puff pastry comes folded in three sections, with two sheets of pastry per box. Cut each sheet into nine 3″x3″ squares, giving you a total of 18 squares. Place a single oyster or mussl in each square, with a small amount of mushroom mixture. Fold the pastry diagonally and seal the edge, forming triangular turnover (empanada). Place the empanadas on a parchment lined or ungreased baking pan, and bake for 20 minutes, until golden brown. Once they are baked remove from the pan and place on a cooling rack.
To Make the Picadillo:
While the empanadas are baking, make the picadillo by combining the remaining ingredients in a 2 qt mixing bowl. Serve the picadillo chilled with the cooled empanada on the side.
- 3-4 tbls olive oil
- 1/2 cup minced onions
- 1/2 lb oyster mushrooms
- 18 oysters, or mussels, removed from shells and drained
- 2-3 sprigs fresh tarragon, minced
- 1 pkg puff pastry, thawed
- 1 cup jicama, peeled and chopped into 1/4" cubes |1/2 cup fresh pineapple, chopped into 1/4" cubes|
- 2-3 Mexican limes, cut in half
- 2 tbls olive oil
- 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
- sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste