A few week’s ago, at my Tapeña® Wine and Tapas House Party™I made these amazing sweet and savory empanadas. I was enticed by this recipe purely because of the bacon. Pumpkin and bacon? Game on! These were very easy to make and I believe we only had one empanada left! The sweet were more like a dessert and to an extent so were the savory! Even for those who do not like pumpkin you will like this recipe. Multiple people who are proclaimed “pumpkin haters” enjoyed these empanadas!  Just make sure that you mix the savory very well… I guess I was in a rush and some got more pepper and thyme than bacon and vice versa! And if you are serving these in a buffet setting, make sure you have a place card stating which is which! For the most part all of my guest including myself had to guess which was the savory and which was the sweet!

Source: Tapeña® wine website
Prep Time: 20 minutes + hour for thawing empanada wrappers
Cook Time: 15-20 minutes
Serves: 10 makes 20 empanadas

2 – packages of frozen empanada wrappers, thawed (qty 10 each)
1 – 15 oz can of pumpkin puree
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1/4 tsp fresh ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg, divided
2 tbsp milk

Savory Ingredients:
4 slices of cooked bacon, finely crumbled
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
1/8 tsp ground thyme (I could not find this I used regular thyme, chopped)

Sweet Ingredients:
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground all-spice
1 tbsp sugar (Preferably coarse)

1. Thaw empanada wrappers (what’s nice about using empanada wrappers is that you don’t have to cut out the circles–it’s already done for you).

2. Mix pumpkin, ricotta cheese, salt and nutmeg. Divide the pumpkin mixture in half and put each half in separate bowls. 

3. Add and mix in the savory seasonings to one half of the pumpkin mixture.

4. Add and mix in the brown sugar, cinnamon and all-spice to the other half of the pumpkin mixture and keep in a separate bowl. 

5. With floured side up of pastry rounds, moisten the edges of pastry round with water, using your fingertips. Put 1 spoonful of filling into the center of each round. Fold the pastry rounds in half and seal edges pressing with the edge of the fork. 

6. Put finished empanada on a cookie sheet prepared with parchment paper, keeping the sweet empanadas separate from the savory empanadas. 

7. In a small bowl mix the milk and egg white together then brush each empanada. 

8. Sprinkle the coarse sugar on top of the sweet pumpkin empanadas. 

9. The empanadas can be frozen or baked at this time. 

10. To cook, heat oven to 425F degrees. Whether fresh or frozen, cook empanadas for 15-20 minutes until golden. 

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I’m not a huge fan of pork, but I wanted to make a wide variety of tapas dishes for my guest. I gave my husband the task of grill master for the evening. He was a bit hesitant since he had never grilled pork skewers before. He grilled them to perfection! They came out moist and flavorful (and I didn’t have the chance to brush the barbecue sauce on them). Everyone loved them and there were very few left at the end of the evening! 

Prep: overnight
Cook: 8-15 minutes
Serves 6-8
Pair with: Tapeña Garnacha

2 lbs pork butt, trim off excess fat 
4 cloves garlic, minced 
3 tsp dried oregano 
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp paprika 
1/4 cup olive oil 
16 – 18 small skewers 
1/4 cup honey or maple seasoned barbeque sauce

1. Combine garlic, oregano, pepper and paprika to make a marinade.

2. Cut the pork into 1-inch cubes. Toss pork cubes with marinade. Put into a non-reactive container, cover and refrigerate overnight.

3. Heat grill to high. Skewer the pork pieces. Grill the skewers on all sides, about 8 minutes. Brush all sides lightly with barbeque sauce. Serve warm.

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If there is one thing in life I’ve grown to love it’s grilled vegetables! I love grilled vegetables! Now that it’s much warmer out we probably grill vegetables once a week! So I as soon as I saw this recipe on the Tapeña® site I knew I had to make these. I like to use mini bell peppers, but large bell peppers work as well. This was our first time grilling eggplant. Next time I’d cut them much thicker and brush a better coat of olive oil on them. I never make a “sauce” to pour on the vegetables, but this complimented it well! 

Prep: 20 mintues
Cook: 10-15 minutes
Serves 8-10

4 small zucchini, sliced diagonally into 1/2” thick slices 
5 slender eggplants, sliced diagonally across the width 
3 red, green, orange or yellow bell peppers 
2 small onions, halved
4 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil 
2 cloves garlic, minced and salted 
1/2 tsp paprika 
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

1. If using a charcoal grill, start the coals and get the grill heated. Or if using a gas grill wait until zucchini and eggplant have been layered to dry. Lightly salt the zucchini and eggplant slices. Layer the salted slices on double thickness of paper towels, so they are lying flat, adding layers of paper towels as needed. Finish layering by covering with a double thickness of paper towels and press flat with the bottom of a heavy pan or platter to squeeze out the moisture. Let the eggplant and zucchini rest for 15 minutes

2. Brush zucchini, eggplant, peppers, and onion with oil. Grill the vegetables for 3 – 8 minutes until done.

3. Core and seed the peppers and cut into thick slices. Cut the eggplant, zucchini and onion into 1” thick slices. Arrange the sliced vegetables on a platter.

4. Whisk olive oil, paprika and garlic and drizzle over the vegetables. Sprinkle with parsley. Serve with crusty bread slices.

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I made this recipe a few week’s back when I hosted my Tapeña® Wine and Tapas House Party™. I had the seafood counter pre-steam my shrimp to make my life a little easier. I made the parsley sauce a few hours before the party. 15 minutes prior to guest arriving I toasted the baguettes and plated the shrimp! 

Prep: 15 minutes
Serves 6 – 8 
Pair with: Tapeña Verdejo

1 large bunch flat leaf parsley, washed and stems removed 
1 small onion, peeled and chopped 
1/4 cup vegetable broth
1/4 cup white wine
3 garlic cloves, minced 
2 threads saffron 
1/4 cup olive oil 
1/4 tsp paprika
1 lb jumbo shrimp, cooked and shelled 
1/2 baguette, diagonally cut into 1/4” slices

1. Heat broth in a medium size saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, sauté until softened. Add saffron and stir until fragrant. Add wine and parsley leaves, stir until softened, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Add olive oil and blend with an immersion blender until emulsified. Set parsley sauce aside.

2. In the meantime, brush both side of each piece of bread with olive oil and place on a baking sheet. Toast in broiler for 1 – 2 minutes, until edges are golden.

3. Top each toast with a tablespoon of salsa and a shrimp. Serve immediately.

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