Cooking with Pete and Barb Marczyk: Empanadas de espinaca

Pete Marczyk and Barbara Macfarlane do not leave their work behind when they leave Marczyk Fine Foods and head for their great old Denver house with the big, new kitchen. They often bring some of their market's choicest ingredients home with them, and cook up a feast.

This week at Marczyk Fine Foods, the shop is doing a food and wine mash-up, offering, says Barb, a "killer Postales Malbec" ($9.99) from the wine store, in addition to a "quintessential chimichurri-sauced flank steak" from Jimmy "the Butcher" to pair with it. And to round out the South American experience, Barb suggests whipping up a batch of homemade empanadas with spinach and fresh mozzarella. "They're absolutely fantastic," she says.

Empanadas de Espinaca 6 servings (2 empanadas per person)


3 cups all-purpose flour 1 tablespoon baking powder 1 teaspoon salt 1/4 cup oil 1/2 to 3/4 cup milk


2-3 tablespoons oil 1 onion, chopped 2-3 cloves garlic, minced 2 pounds spinach, wilted 3/4 cup fresh mozzarella Pinch of nutmeg and a dash of salt and pepper


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 2. Mix the flour, baking powder and salt together in a large bowl. Stir in milk and oil and mix. 3. Knead the dough on a floured work surface for 5 to 10 minutes or until it's silky smooth. Add a little more flour if it's too sticky or a little more liquid if the dough is too hard. Place the dough in a bowl and cover with a towel to let rest for at least 30 minutes. 4. While the dough is resting, heat the oil in a pan and saute over medium flame. Saute onions until they're translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. 5. Add the garlic, spinach, nutmeg, and salt and pepper and cook until warm and fragrant. 6. Add mozzarella and melt; set aside filling to cool. 7. Cut the dough into 12 equal portions. 8. Lightly flour a work surface and roll each portion out into a 6- to 8-inch round. 9. Add about 1/4 cup of filling to the center of each pastry round, leaving a 1/2-inch border. 10. Wet the edges with a finger dipped in water, fold over into a half moon and seal the edges with the tines of a fork or by simply by rolling it up. 11. Lay out on baking sheet, and brush tops with a beaten egg and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until browned on top. Serve warm.

For more from Pete, Barbara and Marczyk Fine Foods, visit the market website. And be sure to check out Pete's blog.

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