The other night I was trying to decide what to do for dinner, one of those nights when I had no desire to go anywhere nor exert any effort beyond heating something up while watching the Lakers. If I'd had a brick of cheese in the fridge I might have just sat on the couch and eaten that.
As it was, there was a box of empanadas tucked in the back of the freezer. I had forgotten purchasing the package at Vons; it was one of those sales where the item I wanted (mini egg rolls) was $3 but I could get any three similar items for $6, so I'd grabbed two more things, including these empanadas.
While the oven was heating I finely diced some red onion and sauteed it in a pan with a touch of olive oil and red wine vinegar. When the onion was soft I took it off the heat and mixed in a handful of chopped basil.
I was going to serve the empanadas with aioli, but decided I wanted something a little spicier, so I mixed a spoonful of hot mustard with the aioli. (These condiments may seem complicated but I promise you they took less than three minutes of actual effort to make.)
When the empanadas came out of the oven - ten minutes of cooking time leaves them frozen in the middle, eleven minutes makes them perfect, twelve minutes burns them as black as coal - I put half of them on a plate and spooned the red onion/basil relish over them, then drizzled the sauce over the plate.
They were delicious. Not just good for a $2 frozen product from Vons, they were good by any standard. They were much better than the egg rolls had been; I should have just gotten three boxes of empanadas. Next time.