You know what I am not? A welcher. Behold: dessert.
You know what I am? Stupid. I’m not usually stupid, but today? Dumb. As. Shit. I don’t know whether I’m just overtired or it’s the new drug, Neurontin*, but I’ve felt like my head is full of cotton candy all day, and I HATE cotton candy.
*Which I think is one of the more ominous drug names, unlike the chipper “Abilify” or the calming “Celexa.” It’s not even one of the fun ones that sound like Sci-Fi characters, like Zoloft.
I spent a full ten minutes at work this afternoon trying to copy and paste a piece of text and failing because I would hit “copy,” select the text I wanted to replace, hit “copy” again and wonder why my text wasn’t copying. And then I would have a panic attack, because OH MY GOD THE DEMENTIA IS SETTING IN. And then I would have a panic attack about having a panic attack. And then it took me 17 minutes to write ONE SENTENCE. I know. I timed it.
While I was slowly going senile, Brian was at home laying on a heating pad because he’d thrown his back out. Then we blew all our money on a time-share in Costa Rica and sent $10,000 to this really poor young woman from Africa whose father died and can’t get to his estate. We’ll get $200,000 in the end, which will help pay off the time share, which is nice, and the satisfaction of knowing we helped a nice young woman come into her inheritance. And then we went out to dinner at 4:00, because if you get to the diner before 5 the salad bar and soup are free when you get the sole special. Because we are each 97 years old.
Okay, what actually happened is that I got home and Brian had made roast chicken and root vegetables, mashed potatoes and pan gravy. It was delicious and I ate way too many mashed potatoes covered in way too much gravy, and then I cackled because this man is ALL MINE.
I thought it was only fair to make dessert, and not just because I told you I would. I had leftover empanada dough. I had bananas that were about to buy the farm. I had peanuts. I had whiskey. I had chocolate. I could have just put them all in a blender, and I won’t like and tell you I didn’t think about doing that. But there was really only one obvious choice: dessert empanadas filled with smushy bananas cooked down with brown sugar, cream and whiskey and mixed with salty peanuts, to be dipped into dark chocolate ganache.
Yes, they were as good as you think they were.
Of course, by tomorrow I’ll probably have forgotten that. Hopefully, I can make it all the way through the recipe before the memory recedes into the fog.
ONE YEAR AGO: Boston II: Can I take this meal as a tax write-off?
Banana & Peanut Empanadas with Chocolate Dipping Sauce
1 recipe empanada dough
2 tbsp. + 1/2 c. heavy cream
2 tbsp. scotch or whiskey of your choice
1/4 c. brown sugar (or more/less, depending on the sweetness of your bananas)
3 about-to-go bananas, diced or just smooshed
1 tbsp. sugar
1/4 c. roasted, salted peanuts
6 oz. dark chocolate
Add the 2 tablespoons of cream, whiskey and brown sugar to a small saucepan set over medium-low heat; whisk until the sugar is melted and the mixture is combined and smooth. Add the bananas and cook for 5-7 minutes, until the bananas are further mushified; mush some of them with a fork if you have younger bananas that need to be helped along. Remove the mixture from the heat and stir in the peanuts. Allow the mixture to cool completely, unless you can’t wait.
Preheat the oven to 400.
Roll the dough out to 1/8 inch thick and cut out rounds the size of your choice. Add a spoonful of banana mixture mixture to the center of each round, moisten the edges with water and fold the rounds in half. Crimp the edges closed with a fork to seal. Brush the top of each empanada with beaten egg and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 25 minutes until golden brown.
While the empanadas are cooling enough to eat, heat the remaining half a cup of cream just to a simmer and chop the chocolate. When the cream reaches a simmer, pour it over the chocolate. Let the chocolate sit for five minutes to allow the hot cream to melt it, then whisk until evenly combined, thick and smooth.
Serve the empanadas with a small bowl of warm ganache. Or stand over the kitchen sink and dunk them right into the tub of ganache.