Turkey & Cranberry Empanadas with a Pear Martini

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A Homemade Happy Hour

In Michigan, January is full of cold and snow with seemingly no end in sight. The holidays feel long gone, and yet we still have the entire month of February to get through before we can realistically begin fantasizing about spring.

I love cold salads – the kind with mayonnaise that go on bread, not the lettuce variety – but in the middle of winter all you want is warm, toasty comfort food. And so these empanadas came to be. The filling reminds me of chicken (or in this case turkey) salad for a sandwich. But I swapped the mayo for cream cheese, wrapped the filling up in pastry and tossed it in the oven. Upon sampling the first round of this recipe, my husband declared something was missing and asked for a dipping sauce. My favorite mustard, Honeycup, came to the rescue.

The cocktail recipe is courtesy of my sister-in-law, a fabulous mixologist who came up with a sweet but tangy martini to accompany the empanadas.

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The Appetizer

Turkey & Cranberry Empanadas

1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup celery, diced (approx 1 stalk)
1/3 cup onion, diced (approx 1 small onion)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup white wine
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp dried parsley
1/4 cup dried cranberries, chopped
1 cup diced, cooked turkey
3 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp salt
1 sheet Pillsbury crescent dough

Dipping Sauce:
1 tsp Honeycup mustard
2 Tbsp mayonnaise

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Heat olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add garlic, onion and celery. Cook 2-3 minutes. Add wine, garlic powder, onion powder and parsley. Cook until wine is absorbed and vegetables are softened. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.

In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese, turkey, dried cranberries, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Add onion/celery mixture. Stir to combine. Set aside.

Roll out crescent dough. Cut into 12 equal pieces.

Place a heaping tablespoon of the turkey mixture in the middle of each crescent dough piece. Fold edges together, sealing filling inside. Press folded edges with a fork to seal edges.

Place empanadas onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until dough is golden brown. Let cool for 5 mins before serving.

For the dipping sauce, combine Honeycup mustard and mayonnaise in a small bowl. Serve alongside the empanadas.

Enjoy!

The Cocktail

Pear Martini

2 oz pear vodka
2 oz pear nectar
1/2 oz St. Germain
1/2 oz lime juice

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with cubed ice. Shake for a minimum of 15 seconds and strain into a coupe or martini glass. Garnish with a wedge of pear and a curl of lime.

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