It’s been a while, let me see if I remember how to do this..
I know it’s been a long time, but if you recall, I was/am on a diet. Weight Watchers to be exact. While I’m already a chiseled hunk of man, I could still benefit from losing a few. Between starting it around March and today, I’ve lost 20 pounds! I’d say that’s alright considering I haven’t included any exercising into the routine. Which I’m dreading because I don’t really get along with plain exercising. I need to be doing something, I need to have a goal. I could play a sport all day if I like it, but if I go jogging I’ll die by the end of the 2nd block.
Anyway, what business does this weight loss have in this post? I made these a couple of weeks into the diet. And it was an internal struggle that I fought with myself for hours.
See, I had this bowl of strawberries that nobody was eating for some reason.
I was thinking about making a sorbet which would have been the sensible route considering the diet and having to desperately update the pictures on that old post. But no, sensible is just not my forte. Go ahead, ask my wife, she’ll gladly tell you.
Nope, instead I decided to go all in and make these. At first it was just going to be some sort of fruit pie, but why stop there I asked? The pie dough is already chock full of butter so why not just add more anti-diety stuff? Queue the Nutella. If you’ve never had Nutella and strawberries before, I don’t recommend it. Because 1) you won’t be able to stop eating them until you either run out of strawberries or nutella. And 2) you’ll find it hard to eat plain ol’ strawberries after you’ve tried the combination. You think that sounds like something you can live with but it’s really a terrible burden on your love of strawberries.
But you know.. there was still something missing. Sure it already sounded great, but it still needed something to make it spectacular. Queue the balsamic reduction. Boy, oh boy, you want to step something up a some notches, balsamic reduction is the way to go. It fits perfectly and you’re going to wonder why you don’t have these combinations on a daily basis.
So here we go. I hope you’re ready.
Strawberry, Nutella & Balsamic Reduction Empanadas
1 cup ~ Balsamic Vinegar
1 each ~ Egg (for egg wash)
- This is the perfect recipe for when you have that extra bit of pie dough scraps you never know what to use for. You know, the little ball of wrapped up, left over dough that sits in your fridge because you swear you’re going to use it for something but you usually never do. Yeah, I know you know exactly what I’m talking about.
- Balsamic reduction is one of those things that makes you feel like you’re not worthy enough to have it in your mouth. It’s heavenly, in other words, and if you’ve had it then you know what I’m talking about. Funny thing about balsamic reduction is how ridiculously easy it is to make it. Seriously, it’s hilarious. If you think that black, tar looking nectar of the Gods is only something to enjoy when you’re in some overpriced restaurant, well it’s time to step out of that box “The Industry” has you in, and enjoy the fruits of cooking for yourself.
- I didn’t specify how many of each fruit or how much nutella because I don’t know how many pies you’re looking to make. Just think a few slices of each fruit and about 1 1/2 tablespoons of nutella with a small drizzle of reduction per pie.
- You can cut your dough into squares if you’re not a circle kinda person. Promise I won’t judge and I’ll respect your life choices.
- I know the banana seems a little out of place, but you do get a nice hint of it amongst all the other awesomeness going on. But if you don’t have any don’t let that stop you from making the pies.
Alright! Aside from the reduction, a child could make these. Heck, if a child can operate a stove safely, they could even make the reduction. Speaking of which..
- Turn the oven on to 425. Then pour the balsamic vinegar into a small sauce pan and put it on high heat. Once it starts boiling, turn it down to a simmer. If you’ve never done this before then you’re probably loving the vapors from the boiling vinegar attacking your face right now. Just keep watching it (from a distance), and once the 1 cup of vinegar reduces down to about 1/4 cup, it should be good to take off the heat. Let it cool before doing anything with it.
What’ll be left from the liquid vinegar is a sweet, thick sauce that you’ll want to use on everything you can. Strawberries? Yes! Steaks? Prefect! As sun tan lotion? Why not!? Possibilities are endless.
- Now that you have the sauce, get your dough and roll it out the same way you would if it was for a regular pie, about 1/4 inch thick. Cut them (into whatever shape you want), but the diameter should be at least 4 inches.
- Spread the nutella in the center of one half of the cut dough. On top of that put a couple of slices of bananas and strawberries, then drizzle some balsamic reduction on everything.
What was that? You want to see it being drizzled again? Oooook, weirdo…
- To close the pie, take some water on your finger and wet the edge of one half of the dough, then seal the dry edge over the wet edge. The water is going to help it stick together and seal. You can also close it up anyway you want. I used a fork to press down on the edges like a traditional empanada, but you could could just roll it up, fold it over itself, whatever you want.
- Put the pies on a parchment lined pan (I always spray my parchment too), and cover with cinnamon sugar. Then take your egg and whip it up with a splash of water and brush it on the pies. That’s where the nice brown shine comes from. Once done, pop in the oven for about 11-14 mins, or until they look tasty.
The inside of the pies look like a hot mess, but once you take a bite… fuhgettaboudit. The reduction with the strawberry and then the nutella bringing it together is almost mind blowing. Just imagine making these on a diet and then only taking a bite. A bite! I had to force myself to wrap them in foil and bring them to my neighbor. Talk about internal struggles. I deserve a damn medal.
I’m glad I lost all that weight though because if I gave up these for nothing I would’ve been extremely upset.