Movie Night Finger Foods
We're having a movie night in a week or so. I want to do something that will fill everyone up (not just c hips and dip), but easy to eat while sitting on the couch in front of the tv. I was thinking maybe empanadas, but I've never made them. Thoughts?
I made easy empanada-like things that were inspired by the movie "Ratatouille." Poached some chicken thighs in chicken broth 'til done (strain the broth and keep it for another use, it's really enriched at that point). Make ratatouille, consistency on the mushy side. Get some fresh mozzarella and store-bought rollout pie crusts. Cut the crusts into quarters - lay down a base of ratatouille in each, pile on some of the thigh meat, top with a couple tablespoons' worth of mozzarella. Gather the points of the pie crust quarter and pinch the sides shut, like a samosa, folding over the seams a little if you need to. You can freeze ahead at this point if you want. Shortly before serving, brush the little thing with a good olive oil and sprinkle with a good salt (I like Maldon salt or a Hawaiian sea salt). Bake at 400 - 450 for about 15 minutes and you have a lovely tasty packet. I've done the same with laying down a base of good tomato sauce, then piling beet greens mixed with sauteed garlic and onion, a couple dabs of mozzarella. Satisfying, easy to eat in front of a tv, adaptable to the theme/locale of the movie.
If you want to make empanadas, you can buy the wrappers pre-made from an argentian grocery. Also, here is a recipe for Chicken cups that my husband just loves. They're great and easy to eat in front of the tv. You can serve with taco toppings such as sour cream, salsa, shredded lettuce, guacamole. Just got this from my SIL's mom who makes them.
4 12 oz cans all white meat chicken
1 cup ranch dressing
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 cups shredded mexican cheese blend
2 heaping tbs chili-o-mix
1 package wonton wrappers
pre-heat oven to 350
press a wonton wrapper in each mini muffin cup
bake for 5-10 minutes until brown
cool on baking rack
drain chicken and flake in bowl
add all ingredients and mix
fill cups with mixture
(you can freeze at this point)
bake @ 350 until hot.....about 20 minutes
makes about 48 chicken cups
Empanadas are tasty, though they can be a fair bit of work if you're making them from scratch as the filling needs to be cooked in advance, and then you need to roll out dough, top with cooled filling, seal into pockets and finally bake until done. Make sure you start a couple of hours in advance to make sure everything gets done in time!
Going along a similar vein, quesadillas can be a bit less fussy - just buy a bag of tortillas (corn or wheat, doesn't matter), a good quality salsa, some cheddar or jack cheese, veggies of your choice and a roasted chicken.
To prep, you just spread a tortilla with some salsa, sprinkle with cheese and veggies, add a handful of chopped roasted chicken and top with another tortilla. I cook mine on the grill in the summertime, but you can also cook in a pan like a grilled cheese - you just need to heat them long enough to melt the cheese and give the outside a bit of colour. Cut into wedges and serve with salsa/sour cream for dipping. Mmmm.
Cherry tomatoes filled with hummus
Lightly steamed asparagus rolled in a thin slice of smoked provolone and proscuitto
Pita pizzas (I split the pitas in half to get a crackly "crust")
Cucumber slices topped with smoked salmon and sour cream
Marinate the marble-sized fresh mozarella balls in olive oil, red wine vinegar and seasonings