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A few months ago, Hollister Secure Start Services eNewsletter featured Ryan Van Voorhis, a chef and co-owner of Nude Dude Food in Chicago, Illinois, who is living with an ostomy. He and his business partner Seth Bradley specialize in private in-home dinner parties and catering that incorporates and substitutes menu items and ingredients for a variety of anti-inflammatory diets. He shares one of his holiday favorites below.
Holiday Squash and Ricotta Empanadas
Makes 10-15 empanadas
Heat a Dutch oven filled with 1-2 inches of vegetable oil, until oil reaches 350 degrees.
1 cup masa
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup blue cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/4 cups warm water
Combine all ingredients in a bowl, and mix to combine. Gently knead until a soft Play-Doh-like dough comes together. If the dough feels too dry, add a little water. If the dough feels too wet, add a little flour or cornmeal.
Use a tortilla press lined with parchment paper to press dough into round disks, about 3 inches in diameter and about 1/4 inch thick.
1 cup roasted fall squash (red kuri or butternut work well)
1/2 cup whole milk ricotta cheese (homemade is best)
1/4 cup toasted pumpkin seeds
Salt and pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl, and gently fold to mix and incorporate.
Place a rounded tablespoon or so of filling into the middle of one of the disks of dough. Fold one side over onto the other to create a half-moon shape. Gently pinch the seams together and use a fork to press the edges together further and create a lined pattern with the tines of the fork. Gently drop the empanadas into the hot oil, and fry until crisp, about 3 minutes. Remove to a frying rack or a plate lined with paper towels to drain.
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