My poor wife, I’ve come to realize tonight, is not a fan of cornmeal in baked goods. Much as she dislikes cilantro and its nearest relatives (for those who don’t understand why cilantro is so detested by many, understand that…in some cases…it’s simply that the flavor elicits a soapy-like flavor in the mouth for these people. As a cilantro aficionado or baseline take-it-or-leave-it-type, we may not suffer from that experience), there are plenty enough foods out there that I can play with that she definitely likes, but cornmeal now will get added to the list.

“Tastes like sand or grit in my mouth,” she says, pushing aside the heavy crust around the filling. Oh, it’s all good. I have my food preferences as well, or should I say, food avoidances. For instance, avocado with sugar and milk. not a particular go-to flavor for me. Dinuguan… Filipino blood sausage pudding. Big pass (note: I don’t dislike these foods, but they are simply preferences. Octopus? Never found a bite prepared well enough to give my mouth a culinary boner.

Tonight was a bit of work that wasn’t well-received. Some problems with the meal, beyond the ‘corn meal grit’ was too thick of a crust, the chicken next time could have been all thighs and more shredded. Even I have come to realize that thigh meat is more flavorful than breast meat when it comes to chicken.

I’ve made empanadas before, though with puff pastry (no cornmeal) which pleased across the board.

This was a lot of work, but as with all my culinary efforts, there is rarely failure, but rather learning opportunities. I learn more from errors rather than successes–though I have no problem with success, obviously.

Here is the unbaked empanada.

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And baked…

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And a close up. Along with some cooked asparagus cooled and dressed with olive oil, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, and a tad of honey. Quite nice accompaniment.

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