Aarón Sánchez: Roasted Empanadas & Terrazas Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon
Ideal snacks to serve as your guests arrive, chef and MasterChef judge Aarón Sánchez’s kale and roasted jalapeño empanadas pair particularly well with the fruitiness and smooth texture of a glass of Terrazas de los Andes Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon. Jalapeños are roasted over an open flame to mimic Argentinian asado-style cooking, while in Aarón’s take on this popular dish, creamy kale adds a smoother dimension. Serve your empanadas with Aarón’s signature herby and zesty chimichurri sauce ahead of the main event.
Wine Pairing: Terrazas de los Andes Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
Makes 20 empanadas
1 to 2 fresh jalapeños, depending on desired heat level
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 medium shallots, diced
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
2 pounds Tuscan kale, center stalks removed, roughly chopped
1 cup Mexican crema or sour cream
6 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
½ cup cotija cheese, grated
Salt and pepper to taste
20 empanada discs, store bought is fine
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1. Roast jalapeños over an open flame such as your stove top, until charred and the skin is blistered. Put into a small ziplock bag and seal. Let rest for about 10 minutes or until cool enough to handle, then peel the skin, remove the seeds and dice.
2. In a heavy bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat, melt the butter and then add the shallot and garlic, stirring occasionally for 2 to 3 minutes until softened. Add the roasted jalapeños and working in batches, stir in the kale, until it is all wilted down.
3. Reduce the heat to medium and stir in the crema, cream cheese and the cotija, stirring occasionally until everything is melted down and evenly mixed, about 3 to 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and taste. Remove from the heat and cool down in a bowl or pan in the refrigerator.
4. Let the empanada dough sit at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes and preheat an oven to 375°F.
5. Lay the discs out on a clean countertop or cutting board. Using a spoon, place about 2 tablespoons of the cooled roasted jalapeño and kale filling near the center of each disc. With a brush or your finger, brush a little water around outer edge of each disc to help seal. Fold one half of each disc over the filling to make a half moon shape and crimp the edges with a fork.
6. Transfer the empanadas to a parchment paper lined, oven safe pan with at least 1 inch of space in between each empanada. Brush each one with extra virgin olive oil and bake for 20 to 30 minutes (or until golden brown), rotating the pan halfway through.
7. Serve immediately with a chimichurri style sauce (see recipe below, if needed).
1 bunch cilantro, chopped (leaves and stems)
½ bunch parsley leaves, chopped
1/3 fresh jalapeño, chopped
2 green onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
½ tablespoon capers + 1 teaspoon caper liquid
½ cup blended oil Salt to taste
1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and puree.