Pork Picadillo Turnover
 I love that I can freeze these delicious turnovers and have available for a quick lunch or dinner.  You can hold them like a sandwich and eat on the go.  You can also use the picadillo mixture as taco fillings or enchiladas.  They are easy and fun to put together.  As always, it’s about “mise en place”.  Get all your ingredients in order. But there are a few steps to do first.
1.  Read the recipe twice.  The second time you read it, underline or highlight the cooking or baking times.  This will give you a heads up just in case you have to marinate for 2 hours, bake for 1 hour, etc. No surprises.
2.  Buy several sets of measuring spoons and measuring cups.  Mixing wet and dry ingredients with the same utensils takes way too much time.
3.  Have a good supply of little prep bowls.  See picture below.  I buy the plastic ones at Smart and Final.  They are great for minced garlic, spices and herbs and other ingredients.  
4.  Keep a tray of the ingredients you use the most like kosher salt, olive and vegetable oils, black pepper, sugar, etc.  
5.  If preparing several dishes, I prep them and put them on cookie trays, labeled and in order of their use.  This makes cooking easy.  It may seem like a lot of work, but nothing is worse than discovering you don’t have an ingredient or the right baking pan.  
Ok lets get started on the filling.  For 12 turnovers or empanadas you need:
2 teaspoons canola oil (olive oil can have a different flavor) You want a neutral type oil and canola is noted as a healthy oil
1 cup chopped (small chop) onion you don’t want big chunks of onion
1 tablespoon minced, seeded jalapeno pepper (use a chopper)
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon dried Mexican Oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
dash of ground cloves
1 pound pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
be sure and remove the silver skin first
1/3 cup raisins, black or golden
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 (14.5 oz) can petite diced tomatoes, undrained.  
12 whole wheat dough circles (recipe follows)
1.  Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over a medium-high heat.  Add onion and jalapeno and saute for about 3 to 4 minutes or until the onion is tender. Stir in chili powder, oregano, cumion, cinnamon and cloves.  Cook for 1 minute to blend the ingredients.  Add the pork and saute for about 4 to 5 minutes or until the pork is browned on all sides.  Stir in the raisins, tomato paste, salt and tomatoes.  Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated.  Cool the mixture a little by putting in another bowl or flat cookie sheet.
2.  For the whole wheat dough you will need a food processor and the following ingredients.
1 cup all purpose flour (about 4 1/2 ounces)
1/2 cup whole wheat flour (about 2 1/4 ounces)
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 cup water
5 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into small pieces
1 large egg, lightly beaten
You want to lightly spoon the flours (don’t pack) into dry measuring cups and level with a knife.  Place the flours, cornmeal, baking powder and garlic salt in a food processor; pulse 3 times or until combined.  ADD water, butter and egg, pulse 3 times or just until combined, (be sure not to form a ball).  
Place the dough on a lightly floured surface; knead gently 4 or 5 times.
Divide the dough into 2 equal portions (see picture).  Roll each portion into a 5 1/2 inch circle.  Stack the dough circles between layers of wax paper or plastic wrap to prevent sticking, chill dough until ready to use.
1 circle has 152 calories; 5.3g fat; 1.2g fiber, 108mg sodium
Putting the turnovers together:
Spoon 1/4 cup pork mixture into the center of each circle.  Fold dough over filling; pressing edges together with a fork or fingers to seal.  Place the turnovers on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Pierce top of each once with a fork.  Bake for 18 minutes or until lightly browned.  
TO REFRIGERATE OR FREEZE DOUGH: Stack the dough circles between wax paper or plastic wrap and then into a large zip top plastic bag.  Refrigerate for up to two days or freeze for up to three weeks.  If frozen, thaw dough for three hours or up to overnight.
TO FREEZE ASSEMBLED PIES: Freeze unbaked pies in a single layer on a baking sheet.  Once frozen, place in a large zip top freezer bag and store for up to 3 weeks.  DO NOT THAW PIES BEFORE BAKING, JUST ADD FIVE TO SEVEN MINUTES TO THE COOKING TIME.
I like to serve them with a side salad of crunchy greens, sliced onions, sliced radishes and tomatoes with an oil and vinegar dressing and black beans.  
Each turnover, including crust: 223 calories; 7.3g fat; 2.8g fiber; 275mg sodium.
Pork Picadillo Turnover
Wednesday, January 24, 2007