Summer is finally here in Germany! Cold days are over, Flu season is gone and people is happy. Need more reasons to celebrate? Let's have some frozen yogurt!

Frozen Yogurt is a great alternative for a healthy frozen treat. It's light, creamy and so fresh. You won't have enough of it.


There are two ways of making this recipe: with or without an ice cream maker. There's a BIG difference between a frozen yogurt made using this machine and one made without using it. The ice cream maker assures a smooth and creamy consistency, just like the one you'd get on a frozen yogurt shop.

Don't worry if you don't have this machine: I don't either. The results won't be as great as making it with the ice cream maker, but the frozen yogurt will come out just fine.

For this recipe I used fresh strawberries because they're juicier and more flavorful than the frozen ones. Make sure they're perfectly clean and slice them into fine pieces.


In a bowl, place the sliced strawberries and combine them with the sugar. Cover them and let them rest at room temperature for about an hour. This will help the strawberries release all their flavor.


You can either use natural regular yogurt or natural greek yogurt. For this recipe I used regular.


Make sure to choose an adequate form for freezing the yogurt. I find it easier to work with plastic containers, such as 'tupperwares' or old ice cream jars.


Let the mix freeze for 3 to 4 hours, stirring every 30 minutes to avoid ice crystals from forming. I get better results when I let it freeze overnight. If you do have an ice cream maker, chill the mix for about an hour and then freeze it in your machine, according to manufacturer's instructions. 


Decorate with your favorite topping and enjoy!



STRAWBERRY FROZEN YOGURT


Preparation Time: 1 1/2 hours
Freezing Time: 3 to 4 hours

Ingredients:

450 g.  fresh strawberries
1/2 to 3/4 cup  granulated sugar
1 to 1 1/2 cups  plain natural yogurt (you can also use greek yogurt)
1 1/2 tsp  fresh lemon juice
*Values may vary according to desired consistency.

Preparation:

1. Clean the strawberries and slice them into fine pieces.
2. In a bowl, mix the strawberries with the sugar. Cover and let it rest for about an hour at room temperature.
3. Place the strawberry mix, the yogurt and lemon juice in a blender or food processor . Blend until completely smooth.
4. Transfer to plastic container. 
*IF YOU HAVE AN ICE CREAM MAKER: Chill mix for an hour, then freeze in your ice cream machine according to manufacturer's instructions.
*IF YOU DO NOT HAVE AN ICE CREAM MAKER: Freeze mix for 3 to 4 hours, stirring every 30 minutes to avoid ice crystals from forming. If you can, let it freeze overnight.
5. Before serving, let the frozen yogurt rest for 10 minutes at room temperature and enjoy!






Empanadas are stuffed pastries, fried or baked, claimed to be originally from Spain and Portugal. However, nowadays they're world-wide known and their popularity just keeps expanding. There are many varieties of empanadas. You can get them salty, fried, sweet, baked and of course, you can also experiment with different fillings.

My favorite ones? Empanadas Argentinas. They are usually stuffed with a meat filling, fried and served with delicious Chimichurri... The Chimichurri is an argentinian green sauce that's mainly used for marinating steaks and of course as a dressing for empanadas.

I'm a big fan of Empanadas Argentinas, but unfortunately here in Germany they're not so easy to find. Of course, we have plenty of argentinian restaurants that are popular for their delicious steaks, but none of them have empanadas on their menus. But because I'm an undeniable food lover, I couldn't just give up on them... I had to make my own version of empanadas. And so I did!

I started by creating a delicious Chimichurri. I sticked to the traditional recipe with chopped parsley, oregano, garlic, chilli, olive oil, wine vinegar and some other spices.


First I chopped finely my parsley and garlic, just to assure getting most of the juicy flavors out.


Then I finished them in my food processor, slowly incorporating the olive oil, vinegar and the rest of the spices. Remember we want a rich-thick consistency, not a liquid one.


After the Chimichurri was done, I continued with the meat filling. Start by chopping all of the ingredients into tiny pieces (except for the raisins).


As you brown the meat with the garlic and onions, start adding the rest of the ingredients to your mix. When it's ready, turn the heat off and add the crushed boiled eggs. Reserve.


So... let's get messy! For the dough, I recommend you to work with your hands, it's easier to handle because the dough tends to get a little hard and dry, it also assures a richer texture, and it's fun!


Make sure to work the dough on a clean, firm surface. Sprinkle the base and the rolling pin with enough flour so the dough doesn't stick to them.


After cutting your dough into circle shapes, start filling each piece with the meat. Remember to leave enough space between the edges so the empanada doesn't break while cooking. 


The original recipe suggests frying the empanadas, and I personally think it's the best way to assure a moist and crispy texture. Anyway, I decided to bake mine, just to not make them so greasy and they also came out great, so it's completely up to you. 


I served my empanadas really hot and with a generous drizzle of the delicious Chimichurri. I hope you enjoy this recipe and give it a try!



EMPANADAS ARGENTINAS

Preparation Time: 1 hour
Cooking Time: 1 hour
Servings: 14 to 16 big empanadas

For the dough:

2 1/2 cups  all-purpose flour
100- 120 g.  butter
2 tsp  salt
6 to 10 tbsp  warm water
*You can add more water or flour depending on the consistency of the dough.

For the meat filling:

500 g.  good quality grounded beef
1  chopped big onion
2  chopped garlic cloves
1- 2  chopped hard-boiled eggs
Green olives to taste
Raisins to taste
Salt
Ground black pepper
Cumin
Chilli flakes or powder
Olive oil
*You can add 1 tbsp of tomato paste to make it more moist.

For the Chimichurri:

1  bunch fresh parsley chopped
2  garlic cloves chopped
1- 2 tbsp  dried oregano
1 tsp  salt
1 tsp  ground black pepper
1 tsp  chilli flakes or powder
1/2 cup  olive oil
1/4 cup  wine vinegar
*The amounts of the ingredients may vary according to your taste.


Preparation:

1. Start by chopping your parsley and garlic cloves into fine pieces. Then add them to the food processor together with the salt, pepper, and chilli. While it processes, slowly incorporate the olive oil, then the wine vinegar. Check flavors and reserve.

2. Boil 2 eggs until completely cooked (hard). Then, take skin away, clean and chop into fine pieces. Slice garlic, onions and olives. Reserve.

3. Drizzle a hot pan with olive oil and add garlic and onions. Cook for 2 minutes or until translucent. Add unfrozen meat and start to brown. Season with salt, pepper, cumin and chilli to taste. Before it's completely cooked, add chopped olives and raisins. When the meat is ready, turn heat off and add the chopped hard boiled eggs. Reserve.

4. In a bowl, combine flour, salt, butter and water. With perfectly clean hands, mix together and work paste into a firm dough. You can add more water or flour depending on the dough's consistency. Cover with plastic wrapping paper and let it stand for 10 minutes.

5. Using a rolling pin, work the dough on a clean, firm surface. Sprinkle with flour to prevent the dough from sticking to it. Once the dough is smooth and even, use a circle form (a small dish or glass also work pretty fine) and cut dough into medium circles. Try to get 14 to 16 circles from the dough.

6. Start filling each dough- circle with approximately 1- 2 tbsp of the meat. Remember to leave space (1 inch approx.) between the filling and the edges of the dough.

7. To seal the empanadas, start by getting your fingers into water and join the upper part of the dough- circle with the lower one. The water will act as a 'glue' for the dough. Remember to leave some space between the filling and the sealing, so the dough doesn't get too tight and breaks. 

8. There are 2 ways to close an empanada: the regular fork technique or the 'repulgue'. For the first one, just make your fork slightly wet and press all over the sealed area, like making fork marks all around the edge. For the second one, I recommend you to watch this short video for a better and more graphic explanation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R_cQ19dvxk0

¡Buen Provecho! 


















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