City Times Sean Monney, left, prepares salsa verde with guest cook Brian Sanchez, right, in a holiday edition of #CityCookingChallenge, Nov. 13, 2023. YouTube screenshot
City Times’ Sean Monney, left, prepares salsa verde with guest cook Brian Sanchez, right, in a holiday edition of #CityCookingChallenge, Nov. 13, 2023. YouTube screenshot

VIDEO: City Times cooks up empanadas with campus-grown produce for the holidays

Guest cook Brian Sanchez guides us through an empanada recipe with salsa verde in the latest edition of #CityCookingChallenge

Can’t see the video? Click here. To read the transcript, click here.

City Times MMJ Sean Monney hosted this Festive Foods edition of #CityCookingChallenge, joined by Brian Sanchez, a culinary student at Grossmont College and a cook at White Rice Bodega. 

Sanchez and Monney cooked fried empanadas with a pan-seared zucchini filling along with a salsa verde and a prickly pear syrup drink.

The zucchini and other produce for the salsa and drink were provided by Seeds@City, an urban farm that grows on the campus of San Diego City College. The Knights’ Table food pantry on campus provided the Hint Water.

Empanadas Recipe
(makes about a dozen)

  1. Dissolve 2 tsp of salt into 6 oz of warm water.
  2. Mix 18 oz of flour with 6 oz of lard.
  3. Add salted water slowly until the mixture forms a ball. Add more flour if the dough is too sticky and more water if not all the flour is incorporated.
  4. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for 10 minutes until the dough is elastic and smooth.
  5. Let the dough rest for at least 30 minutes.
  6. Roll dough out on a lightly floured surface to ⅛ in thickness and use a large circular cutter to cut the dough into rounds.
  7. For the filling, dice a large zucchini and sear over high heat. Add salt and pepper. Remove from heat when lightly browned.
  8. Add zucchini to the center of dough rounds and fold in half, creasing the edge from one side to the other.
  9. Place the empanada into a 350°F air fryer and air fry for 6 minutes or until crispy and cooked through.

Salsa Verde Recipe

  1. Peel 3 garlic cloves and add them whole to a hot pan or over an open flame. Add 6 tomatillos and 12 serrano peppers, also whole. 
  2. Char until some edges become blackened.
  3. Mash garlic first, then peppers then tomatillos into a salsa.

Tuna (Prickly Pear Cactus Fruit) Drink Recipe

  1. Cut the skin off the tuna.
  2. Push it through a mesh strainer with a spoon to remove the seeds and pulp.
  3. Add the juice to high heat until it begins to bubble.
  4. Add to water and add sugar as desired.

Brian Sanchez is on Instagram, @13ri_n. For more information on Seeds@City, click here.

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