I cooked up a storm during the long, cold, rainy spring. I made risottos, fresh pasta, and homemade ricotta for gnocchi with morels. I baked banana bread, pumpkin bread, marmalade cake, and mango blueberry upside down cake.
I even baked a 2 layer yellow cake with real fudge frosting for Father's Day, which required that I find my candy thermometer. Whew!
Now it is Summer. Our mountain summer is short and sweet, over before we can say "barbeque!". The wildflowers are in bloom, the kids are home all day, and the fishing will soon be getting good.
All I want to do is play in the mountains, and forage for food the rest of the day. I want to sit at the counter of the new Teton Thai in Driggs, Idaho, and slurp spicy curried noodles and sip Reisling.
I want to skip lunch in favor of a Nutella milkshake at Scratch in Victor, Idaho, where they import Fluff from the East Coast to use in their milkshakes. Remember Fluff? Can't get it around these parts. (Scratch is also rumoured to have the best rib-eye steak in Teton Valley, but we have not tested this claim.)
But I do have a few lazy, summer recipes to share. Roasted Vegetable Empanadas are the perfect snack to share with friends on your deck, while sipping a Watermelon Margarita.
Empanadas from scratch do take some time and effort, and they are my favorite. The dough should be mixed, kneaded and rested, rolled and cut with a biscuit cutter, scraps rolled and cut. If you'd like my empanadas-from-scratch recipe, please email me.
But not in the summer. Premade empanadas "tapas", or wrappers, can be found in the freezer section at Jackson Whole Grocer. Just defrost, and most of the work is already done.
- 1 peeled sweet potato
- 1 red onion
- 2 shallots
- 1 carrot
- 1red potato, peeled or not
- 1 peeled beet (optional and not very popular in my house)
- Olive oil
- sea salt
- 3-4 Tbsp. goat cheese, crumbled
- 1 1/2 Tbsp. chopped fresh thyme or rosemary
- 1 1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp. pepper
- 1 package empanada Tapas
- 1 egg, beaten for egg wash
- Chop vegetables into 1/2 inch dice.
- Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper on a baking sheet.
- Roast at 425 F, for about 30 minutes, or until brown and soft.
- Using a fork, mash about 1/4 of the roasted veggies, and fold back into the rest of the veggies.
- Add the herbs and the crumbled goat cheese.
- Reduce oven temperature to 375. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat baking mat.
- Place tapas on the baking sheet and brush the edges with the egg wash.
- Place about 1/4 cup roasted vegetable filling onto the center of each tapa, and fold over. Crimp the edges, and then brush the tops with more egg wash.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through, until they are nicely browed.
- Serve warm or at room temperature.
We served these margaritas on the 4th of July. Be prepared to double or triple the recipe; our first batch disappeared very quickly. This recipe is adapted from a recent issue of Cooking Light. They claim that each margarita has only 105 calories; now that is something to celebrate!
- 2 tsp. sugar, for the glasses
- lime wedges
- 3 1/2 cups cubed and seeded watermelon
- 1/2 cup tequila, or more to taste
- 2 Tbsp. sugar (optional, taste before adding, you don't want them too sweet)
- 3 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
- 1 Tbsp. Cointreau, or Triple Sec
- Place 2 tsp. sugar in a saucer. Rub glasses with lime wedge, and coat with sugar.
- Combine watermelon, tequila, sugar (if using), lime juice and Couintreau in a blender, and process until smooth. Taste. Add sugar i
- Fill glasses with ice, and add margarita. Garnish with lime wedge. Ahhh, summer.