UPDATED November 16th, 2017
Just in time for the holidays are three delicious ham recipes created by star Chef Ana Quincoces and shared with us by Smithfield. Start the festivities with her bite-sized empanadas as an appetizer. For the main event on Christmas Eve you can wow the table with her Ham with Marabella Sauce. And to take advantage of all of those leftovers, Ana created a delicious dish of Spanish Rice & Bacon.
Read Related: 12 Christmas Recipes with Offbeat Ways to Glaze Your Roast
HAM & CHORIZO EMPANADAS WITH CILANTRO RANCH DIPPING SAUCE
Makes: 40 appetizer-size empanadas
For the Empanadas:
2 Tbsps. olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
¼ cup diced onion
¼ cup diced green or red bell pepper
½ cup tomato sauce
¼ cup dry cooking white wine
¼ tsp. pepper
½ pound ground Spanish chorizo sausage
1-8oz Smithfield Anytime Favorites boneless ham steak, diced
Salt to taste
20 disks of frozen empanada dough
For the Dipping Sauce:
1 cup thick, refrigerated ranch dressing
1-2 tablespoons of hot sauce
¼ cup of finely chopped cilantro
1. Chop the Smithfield Anytime Favorites boneless ham steak into small pieces. Place in a food processor and pulse several time until it resembles ground beef.
2. Heat the olive oil in a shallow pot over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, onion, and bell pepper, and sauté for 5 to 7 minutes, until soft.
3. Add the tomato sauce, dry wine and pepper, and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring frequently.
4. Add the chorizo and ham and continue cooking for an additional 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
5. Turn the heat off and allow the mixture to cool to room temperature. Taste and add salt, if necessary.
6. Remove one package of the pastry disks from the refrigerator. (Always leave the ones you aren’t working with in the refrigerator. They are easier to work with if they are firm.) Working on a lightly floured surface, separate the disks. If you are making appetizer-sized empanadas, cut each disk in half, creating two semicircles. If you are making the larger empanadas, leave the disks whole.
7. Place 1 to 1 ½ teaspoons of filling in the center of each half disk or 1 to 1 ½ tablespoons in the center of each whole disk. Fold each half disk to make a small triangle or each whole disk to make a semicircle. Using the tines of a fork, press around the edges to seal.
8. Heat the oil in a deep pan to 350°F over medium heat. If you do not own an oil thermometer, dip the corner of one of the empanadas in the oil to check if it is hot enough. The oil should bubble around the dough.
9. Add the empanadas, about 4 to 5 at a time, to the oil and fry them for 3 to 4 minutes, turning them once, until they are golden brown. Transfer to a paper towel–lined plate and continue frying the rest of the empanadas.
10. To make the dipping sauce, combine the ranch dressing and hot sauce in a bowl and garnish with the cilantro. Serve in a small bowl alongside the hot empanadas.