I love to cook and create at-home culinary adventures. Since we spend more time at home during winter, it is the perfect time of the year to update classic and family favorites with healthy ingredients and inventive pairings. This winter, I went out of my comfort zone, usually preparing Mediterranean and Mexican cuisine. Instead, I cooked Salvadorean-Style Empanadas with Chef Oscar Bendeck’s recipe. My family was very pleased with them. Moreover, the wine pairing with J. Lohr Estates Flume Crossing Sauvignon Blanc was a delightful match made in heaven and satisfied my family. Without a doubt, I will incorporate this delicious pairing into our family fare throughout the year.
Salvadorean-Style Empanadas and J.Lohr Sauvignon Blanc
Growing up in Mexico, I learned to appreciate the flavors of corn-based meals, vegetables, and spicy sauces. So naturally, I often crave the flavors of Latin Cuisine. Hence, when I discovered the Salvadorean-Style Empanadas from the World of Pairings Cookbook of J. Lohr, the corn-based dish captured my attention. Moreover, I was excited to pair the Empanadas with J. Lohr Sauvignon Blanc.
Since Salvadorean cuisine is full of zesty and tasty flavors and, thankfully, not as spicy as Mexican food, I was curious about the wine pairing. My family also loved making the Empanadas with fresh ingredients, an almost vegetarian alternative.
We dare to pair this flavorful dish with J. Lohr Estates Flume Crossing Sauvignon Blanc, a perfect match. The J. Lohr Estates Flume Crossing Sauvignon Blanc displays citrus, herbs, and fig aromas. These aromas are also present on the palate, with more tropical fruit and a sublime hint of lemongrass, with the rich texture and long finish. We enjoyed every bite of the Empanadas along with every sip of J. Lohr Sauvignon Blanc.
Why does this pairing work?
J. Lohr Estates Flume Crossing Sauvignon Blanc from Arroyo Seco, Monterey County, CA, was the perfect match to cut over the fried and crispy Salvadorean-Style Empanadas. The citrus fruit-forward and rich texture of this wine exquisitely balanced the zesty sauce of the vegetarian and cheese filling of the Salvadorean-Style Empanadas.
I invite you to be adventurous and dare to try these Salvadorean-Style Empanadas and J. Lohr Estates Flume Crossing Sauvignon Blanc pairing. Follow the recipe below.
1. In a shallow bowl, mix dry ingredients. Then slowly incorporate wet ingredients. (You may not need to use all the water– use extra masa if the dough is too wet). Once dough takes the form of playdough, knead for about 2 minutes. Cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, but no longer than 2 days.
1. Heat a small amount of vegetable oil in a sauté pan, add onion, carrot, and bell pepper. Cook thoroughly over medium heat for 3 minutes. Add minced garlic and cook until fragrant, add zucchini and squash along with seasonings. Add diced potatoes (that were par-cooked in boiling water), stir ingredients together and turn heat to high.
2. When the mixture begins to sizzle or steam, add wine and stir. Remove from heat and cover. Once cooled, add the crumbled queso fresco.
1. When the dough has rested and cooled, use a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface and roll dough to ¼ inch thickness. Using a 2 ½ to 3 in. ring mold, cut out discs. Place 1 oz. of cooked/cooled filling in each disc, sprinkle with cheese, then fold in half, and crimp edges with a fork. (Can be made up to 2 days in advance.)
2. Once you are ready to cook the empanadas, in a tall pot or Dutch oven, deep fry in ½ in. vegetable oil for 4 to 6 minutes or until empanadas reach an internal temperature of 165ºF. Alternatively using an air fryer, spray empanadas with oil and air fry for 6 to 8 minutes or until they are golden brown. Let the empanadas rest for 2 minutes before serving with a drizzle of Salsa de Tomato.
SALSA DE TOMATO
1. In a saucepan, add water, salt, oregano, and vinegar and bring to a boil. Score tomatoes and place in boiling water for 30 seconds, then remove and plunge into a bowl of ice water. Skins should loosen and be peeled off easily. Once peeled, place back into pan of boiling water along with the onion, garlic, and jalapeno, simmer for 2 minutes.
2. Strain mixture, reserving juices in a separate bowl. Place strained mixture into a blender, season with salt and pepper to taste, add lime juice, and blend. Use remaining strained juice to reach desired salsa consistency.