Tag Archives: California Beef Council

USA Empanada

Summer Olympic Beef Empanadas

Beef Empanadas

Ever since I spent a semester abroad in Salamanca, Spain, empanadas have been one of my all-time favorite foods.  I remember waiting in line at a local panaderia, taking in the smell of fresh pastry and the savory morsels of delish inside the perfectly sealed crust.  

In the spirit of the Summer Olympics kicking off tomorrow night, these are the perfect party appetizer to serve because you can decorate the pastry with Team USA and stars using a simple cookie cutter.  It’s a great way to get the kiddos involved and make it a DIY baking activity!  

USA Empanada


Adding in the hint of saffron with the combo of olives and raisins makes this a more traditional Brazilian flavored bite, a nod to Rio, host to this year’s Summer Olympic games.  Serving small portions like this encourages moderation, too!  3oz of lean beef only has about 160 calories.  

Beef is one of my favorite proteins to entertain with because it’s so versatile.  I partnered with the California Beef Council to create this recipe, and had the honor of meeting their staff and getting the know more about the beef industry in the Golden State!  Beef is the 4th largest commodity in California — and cattle ranchers there are often 4th and 5th generation farmers. One interesting fact is that these hard working ranchers also happen to be stewards of the land, since so many endangered species make their homes on the gorgeous, expansive farms throughout the state.

Golden state, golden empanadas, gold medals — and gold standard of taste.  Pretty much a win for TEAM USA!

*This post was sponsored by the California Beef Council, but all opinions are my own.

Beef Empanadas
Brazilian style empanadas filled with savory beef
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  1. 2 Tb canola oil
  2. 1/2 sweet onion diced
  3. 2 cloves of garlic minced
  4. 1.5 pounds ground beef
  5. kosher salt to taste
  6. 3 Tb tomato paste
  7. 2 Tb chopped cilantro
  8. 1 Tb hot pepper jelly
  9. 1/4 cup chopped green olives
  10. 2 Tb golden raisins
  11. 1 Tb smoked paprika
  12. 1 tsp cumin
  13. 1 Tb garlic powder
  14. 1 tsp saffron
  15. egg wash
  16. 1 box puff pastry (thawed)
  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. Saute ground beef in canola oil until meat is cooked through. Drain.
  3. Return to stove top and add onion, fresh garlic, smoked paprika, cumin, saffron and garlic powder. Saute until fragrant and onion is soft, about 7 minutes on medium heat.
  4. Add tomato paste (stir to combine into beef mixture), cilantro, pepper jelly, olives, raisins and kosher salt to taste.
  5. Lay out puff pastry on a cutting board and using a mug or biscuit cutter, punch out a small circle shaped pastry. Put a couple spoonfuls of meat in the center and fold in half, sealing the edges by pressing down with the tines of a fork.
  6. Prick the empanada with the fork in a couple spots.
  7. Using cookie cutters, make pastry stars or letters to decorate the empanadas.
  8. Brush with egg wash, then add the cut outs to each empanada. Brush again with egg wash.
  9. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.
What's on Parker's Plate? http://whatsonparkersplate.com/
Roast Beef Appetizer

Roast Beef Crostinis with Horseradish Cream

Roast Beef Appetizer

Roast Beef crostinis with horseradish cream and caramelized onions are one of my all-time favorite appetizers!  It’s also an hors d’oeuvre you can serve during any season because it’s got the rich, earthy elements that are suited to fall and winter with the pop of flavor and freshness that are prefect for spring and summer entertaining.  

I’m obsessed with texture and mouth feel — I want crunchy, I want savory, I want sweet and I want smooth with some major wow factor.  Basically, I want layers of flavor that make you throw your head back and go, “OMGOMGOMGOMG!” These definitely deliver.

I partnered with the California Beef Council on a tour through California markets and had the delicious excuse to showcase these yummy crostinis.  California is one of the top producers of beef in the entire country!  The expansive farmland owned and operated by cattle ranchers is not only beautiful to look at, it’s also home to a number of endangered species, so these ranchers are truly stewards of the land.  

Beef is such a versatile protein– it can take on the flavor of whatever you mix with it.  One of my favorite combinations is adding that kick of horseradish to the roast beef.  Then, the caramelized onions really take it to the next level with a smooth, sweet finish!

Plus, you can feel good about knowing that there are only about 160 calories in 3 oz of beef– and with over 35 lean cuts of beef to choose from, you can get super creative!  Check out the link to my segment featuring the crostinis on San Diego Living.


Roast Beef Crostinis with Horseradish Cream
Savory bites with roast beef, horseradish cream and caramelized onions
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For the crostinis
  1. French baguette, sliced and toasted with butter and a sprinkle of garlic powder
  2. 1/2 pound of roast beef
  3. Gorgonzola cheese
  4. Chopped chives for garnish
For the Horseradish Cream
  1. 3/4 cup full fat mayo
  2. 1-2 Tb prepared horseradish
  3. 1 Tb sour cream
  4. 1 Tb fresh lemon juice
  5. Dash of worcestershire sauce
  6. pinch of kosher salt to taste
For the caramelized onions
  1. 1 red onion sliced into thin rings
  2. 2 Tb butter
  3. 1/4 cup red wine
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Brush melted butter on sliced baguette and sprinkle with garlic powder. Toast crostinis for 20-30 minutes, flipping over after 15 minutes.
For the horseradish cream
  1. Mix mayo, lemon, horseradish, worcestershire and a pinch of kosher salt.
For the onions
  1. Saute onion rings in butter on low/medium heat for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add red wine and crank up heat to cook off wine and then reduce to low, stirring for another 15 minutes until caramelized.
To assemble
  1. Spread horseradish cream on the toasted crostinis.
  2. Top with roast beef, then caramelized onions and sprinkle with gorgonzola and chopped chives.
What's on Parker's Plate? http://whatsonparkersplate.com/
*This post and segment were sponsored by The California Beef Council, but all opinions are my own.