May 14, 2011

Guava and Manchego Empanadas

open empanada

In a way, spring is a time for reflection. You’ve made it through the New Year and the worst of winter, decided upon your goals for the months to come, and set out to achieve them. As spring begins to edge into summer, there comes a time to evaluate your progress—resolutions kept, resolutions broken, classes passed, classes failed, chances taken, chances missed, yada, yada, yada.

guava paste

Don’t worry, I didn’t fail any classes.

Three A’s and a C.

Stupid government.

Anyway, before it’s time to break out the grill and buy your Fourth of July firecrackers, it’s a good idea to take stock of things, to ponder your choices, to adjust the sails, and, in my case…to realize just how much you hate the taste of guava.

empanada 1

What? You thought this post was going to be serious? Some sort of inspirational admonition about sticking to your lofty goals and following through on your previous commitments? Have we met? Don’t get me wrong, all of those things are admirable and you should do them, but I’m not about to dedicate my first post-finals write-up to anything that resembles serious thought. My brain needs a breather, people. Today, we talk about guava.

Have you tried guava paste? Up to this point, I never had. After spotting some yummy looking recipes and photos around blog-land, I was feeling mighty inspired to give this mystery fruit a try. Having happened upon this recipe, which includes manchego cheese and cinnamon sugar, all bundled up in an empanada, I felt completely assured that this would be a delicious combination.


I repeat: Have you tried guava?

Why did my food angels not swoop down from food heaven (a.k.a. Sur la Table) and stop me from eating guava paste? It tastes like some sort of bitter cheese that dressed up as a fruit for Halloween. While guava paste may lure you in by looking an awful lot like strawberry jam, it is entirely different. This fruit possesses a decidedly sour bite, undoubtedly aided by this recipe’s addition of lime juice. Combined with some pungent manchego cheese, this stuff is…interesting.

And by “interesting,” I mean “yucky.”

open empanada 2

That being said, I can see how guava might just be an acquired taste. After all, this was my very first attempt at this guava-osity, so I could be missing out on a better way to prepare it. Either way, I like to share the misses as well as hits around here, because we certainly all have experienced them. Live and learn, no?

Really, honestly, truly, the point of this post is just to say that I am finally returning to regular blogging. After about two months of utter chaos in what felt like every aspect of my life, things have settled down and I’m itching to get back in the kitchen. Plus I totally missed you guys! So expect lots of yummy, guava-free stuff coming very soon!


  1. AnonymousMay 15, 2011

    Glad you are back! I have never had an empanada, but my Hispanic students are always telling me how much I need to try one. Clearly trying one without guava is best :)

  2. Bet you are glad to have your exams out of the way. The empanadas look wonderful so thanks for the guava-related warning or I would have rushed to make them. Looking forward to your further guava-related experiements.

  3. Hurray, we get Koci posts again! We missed you too. Huge congratulations on your exam results. :D

    I've never tried guava before. Maybe I'll just take your word for it and stay away! The empanadas look gorgeous though. Maybe I could try the same thing with quince jam or something. Mmm.

    I love love love that photo of the Manchego. I used to work in a deli and I became obsessed with the appearance of cheese. I love the bold scratchings on Manchego & it really stands out in your pic.

  4. If it's any consolation, they look amazing. That is one badass looking cheese you've got there, but I could see how the combination would qualify as interesting/yucky...

    One of the most amaaazing empanada combinations is fresh figs, cheese and caramel from Mama's Empanadas in New York. They are FOR SURE the best $1.50 you'll ever spend.

  5. @baking.serendipity: Oooh you must try some!! There are definitely some fab versions out there.

    @Hester: I am thrilled! hehe We'll see what other guava-related experiments make their way into my kitchen.

    @Suzler: Thank you! I'm so glad they're all done.

    Poor guava, I feel like I'll end up giving it one more chance one of these days. There's gotta be some way for it to be yummy. But quince jam sounds quite interesting.

    @the sugar apothecary: Well, thank you. :)

    Woah! Those empanadas sound delicious!!

  6. this looks very gorgeous:)and what a lovely flavor combo! thank you for sharing.

  7. oh girl this post hit all the right spots for me, I am such a manchego lover, such an empanada lover, and have not had NEARLY enough guava....this rocks!

  8. I have never made an empanada before, but I am running to the kitchen as we speak to make these! Thanks for sharing!

  9. AnonymousMay 20, 2011

    Manchego is my favorite cheese of all time! I love this combo... can't wait to try it!


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