650 AM- woke up and couldn’t fall back asleep due to a roaring stomach
720 AM- decided to just jump up and get breakfast started
745 AM- a sleepy-eyed-half-zombie-half-human version of my husband walks down stairs to kiss my neck and tell me that everything smells lovely
It’s the little things, guys. These kind of mornings are my favorite.
Remember how I said I can’t get enough of those sweet potatoes? Okay, good. Another thing that I’m constantly craving is pastelillos. [Side note (prepare to have your mind blown)— did you all know that I am Puerto Rican? SAY WHAT. Now that Hernandez makes sense, right? Apparently when you have a father from latino roots and a mother from hillbilly roots, you end up with children that kind of resemble Russian folk.] If you aren’t familiar with the term pastelillo, maybe empanadilla rings a bell for ya? Same thing, different country. They are basically the most delicious meat turnovers EVER. My mom and I make them together pretty often. They were also the first meal I had ever cooked for Alex… I’m pretty convinced that’s how I won him over. Love at first bite! Unfortunately, I didn’t really think that a deep fried meat and cheese turnover would be suitable for an 8 AM breakfast so I made my own lighter substitute with veggies. Also baking, not frying. Too early for all of that.
1 1/2 cups flour
8 tsps water
4 tbsp. softened butter
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 onion (I used red)
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tbsp garlic powder
2 tsp seasoning salt (duh)
1/2 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp cumin
1/8 tsp cayenne
2 medium sweet potatoes, diced
2 cups vegetable stock
Salt and pepper, to taste
3/4 cup greek yogurt
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup mint leaves
1/4 cup oregano
Preheat the oven to 450°F. In a mixing bowl, combine flour and butter and mix until crumbly. Add in water and mix until dough forms together. Move over to a floured surface and knead until stretchy. Cover and set aside.
Filling- heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat then add onion, cooking until browned lightly. Add sweet potatoes and 1 cup of broth and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add in lemon juice, spices, and one more cup of broth. Simmer another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once liquid evaporates and potatoes soften, remove from heat and set aside to cool.
Divide your dough into golf ball sized rolls. On a floured surface, roll each ball into a 6″ round. Fill each round with a generous heap of sweet potato filling and fold over, pleating the edges (you can add water along to edges to make this easier). Set filled pastries on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Bake turnovers for 15 minutes on one side, turn over and bake for additional 3 minutes. Remove once both sides have browned.
For the dip- place oregano, mint, lemon juice, and yogurt in a blender. Puree until smooth and green!