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My 10$ Gem: Pairing the TRIO Cabernet Sauvignon with my delicious empanadas & chimichurri salsa edit

My dearest friend, Beau, from "BasicJuice" tagged me for a great meme: The Ten Buck Gem, and to tell you the truth I couldn't resist!It was a delicious coincidence that yesterday was the first day of the two day wine event at my favorite wine store in Panama City, Felipe Motta Wine Store. You can take a look at the invitation here. You would be amazed of how many great gems you could get for $10 or less here!

Just to make sure I was going to write about and cook something delicious with a wine that Beau had not reviewed, I went through her list of South American vinos, and was thrilled NOT to find the one I had in mind.

We chefs have the eye to find other chefs, so...the first person I recognized at the event was my friend and colleague Rafael Julio Ciniglio, from the "Vino Club" and Trattoria de America. I didn't purchase the $20 passport that allowed me to taste all the wines, ... because I was driving and had to cook lots once home. So I had to make sure I returned in one piece and with all the wine and specialty meats and dessert ingredients! BUT, we are planning to go back there today, purchase a $20 passport and enjoy!

I talked to many of the vendors from all over the world and specially had a long and educational conversation with Paula Hernandez, the On-trade Manager L.A. for Concha y Toro from beautiful Chile. Did you know they have a new line called TRIO? I tried them sometime ago when I first saw them at the shop, ...I am always after trying a new wine and better if it comes with a beautiful label.

Trio_1 So, yesterday I purchased one of each TRIO variety wines and finally decided to feature the Trio Cabernet Sauvignon 70%, Cabernet Franc 15%, and Shiraz 15%. The price for each variety is $6.95 per bottle. Nice.

South America is one place I love, one of the reasons is because we share the same blood. Once we were part of the same -country-: La Gran Colombia (Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Panama y Granada). Now, we are all over the place, but we still share the same blood and the love for food. That is why you sometimes find the same type of dishes with variations from north to south.

Today, the fantastic wine we are featuring is from Chile, a perfect member of the $10 buck gem society. So, in honor to the country of origin, I am preparing "Empanadas Chilenas" with chimichurri sauce from Argentina. Empanadas are perhaps, one of the dishes persistent in the diets of most of the South American countries, including Argentina, Chile, Brasil, Colombia and Panama. In every country you will find variations in the ingredients list of the filling and the method of cooking. Some of them are baked, others are fried. In general, "empanada" is a Spanish term meaning pie or turnover. It is used in referring to the final filled culinary creation. These flaky meat pies are a much loved snack. Although they can be filled with anything from fish to fruit, a meat filling is most common.

Why does this wine go perfectly with my empanadas?  Well, we needed a wine that could stand up to the body of this dish that consists of almost 90% seasoned meat. For this reason I recommend, the one TRIO with a solid structure to the palate, combining Cabernet Sauvignon and the Shiraz that has fruity touches blended magicaly with earthy aromas. Its smooth and ample tannins marry perfectly with the multiple tastes of the queen empanada.

Now, la receta deliciosa!


Empanadas Chilenas con Salsa Chimichurri

Prep. Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 8-10 large empanadas
Ingredients for the dough
(**See TIP below):

    Place in a large bowl or food processor:

  • 2 cups unbleached flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt

    Mix with a fork or pulse until combined. Then add:

  • 10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening, cut into small pieces

    Cut the butter add shortening into the flour mixture using a pastry blender or pulse in a food processor until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. If using the food processor, transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Then, drizzle over the top:

  • 11-14 tablespoons ice water

    Mix gently with a fork until the flour mixture is dampened enough to gather into a ball. Shape into a flat disk, wrap tightly in plastic and refrigerate for at least 45 min.

    (**)TIP: To save time you can purchase "frozen pie crusts" and use it to make the empanadas dough. You can also use canned refrigerated buttermilk biscuits, or my favorite PUFF PASTRY dough. In any case follow directions to shape empanadas - below.

    Ingredients for the filling: Heat in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil


  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

    Cook, stirring, until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Then, stir in:

  • 1 pound lean ground beef

    Cook until the beef is lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Then, stir in:

  • 1 cup diced peeled potatoes
  • 1 large tomatoes, cored and chopped
  • 1/4 cup raisins or chopped prunes (optional)
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped pitted green olives (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme 

    Cook covered, over medium heat until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. ncover the pan, increase the heat to medium-high, and cook briefly stirring constantly to evaporate any pan juices. Remove from the heat and let cool completely.
    Pre-heat the oven to 400 F.

    To Shape Empanadas:
    Roll out the dough 1/8 inch thick on a lightly fluored surface. Make sure that is thin, it makes for a better empanadas. Cut 6 inch rounds from the dough (you'll have to re-roll the scraps to get the 10-12 rounds). The plastic top from a #3 coffee can makes a good cutter. Right away spoon about 1/4 cup of the filling onto one side of each round. Moisten the edges of the rounds with water, fold each round in half, and press the edges together to completely enclose the filling. Press the tines of a fork around the perimeter of the empanada to decoratively seal the edges. Place 2 inches apart on a baking sheet. Brush the following mixture over the tops of the empanadas:

  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • pinch of salt

    Bake until nicely browned, about 15 minutes. Let cool slightly on a rack and serve warm.
    ***If you're using canned refrigerated buttermilk biscuits: separate dough into 8 biscuits. Press or roll each to form 5" rounds. Spoon 3 slightly rounded tablespoons meat mixture in center of each round. Fold dough over filling; press edges with fork to seal. Place on greased cookie sheet. Brush with beaten egg. BAKE at 375 F for 11 to 16 minuts or until golden brown. Cool 5 minutes. Serve warm.

    Chim For the Chimichurri Sauce, whisk together throughly in a small bowl:

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar

    Stir in:

  • 1 small onion
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped fresh parsley or cilantro
  • 4 cloves garlic, finelly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh oregano (optional)
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper or to taste

    Cover and let stand fro 2-3 hours before serving to allow the flavors to mature.
    This sauce will keep for up to 2 days (covered and refrigerated).

Que lo disfruten!

Chef Melissa

Tags: , , , ,

empanadas empanada chimichurri argentina chile vino wine pairing panama cookingdiva delipe motta
  • by Chef Melissa
  • October 20, 2005
  • 11:11 am


Picture of Michelle Michelle said on...
10.21.05 at 11:42 AM |

Those sound fantastic!  I LOVE empanadas!  I have a bottle of Chilean wine a friend sent me (I’ll have to go and see exactly what it is now) from Chile a while ago and perhaps this is a perfect reason to drink it and a perfect meal to go with it.  It sounds like you had a wonderful time at the wine event - what fabulous deals!  I wish we had something like that around here.  I’ll have to keep my eye out for TRIO - thanks for sharing all those great ideas!

Picture of Melissa Melissa said on...
10.21.05 at 11:57 AM |

Thank You Michelle! I love wines from Chile and Argentina—-my cava is filled with them. They are so inexpensive and delicious. I cook and bake with wine a lot—-just to make the food happy smile

Picture of Elvira Elvira said on...
10.21.05 at 12:50 PM |

Sou uma grande apreciadora de empanadas! Estas parecem-me bem saborosas! Parabéns, Melissa!

Picture of Melissa Melissa said on...
10.22.05 at 01:38 PM |

Elvira: a mi tambien me encantan las empanadas! especialmente las Argentinas o Chilenas que tienen ese relleno tan delicioso smile

Picture of Marcela Marcela said on...
10.23.05 at 07:52 PM |

Yo no puedo decir menos, adoro las empanadas! Al punto que cuando tenía 2 o 3 años me comí solita y bien callada más de media docena… para susto de mi madre.
Las que prefiero son las tucumanas o las mendocinas. Tan jugosas que chorreen. Con un buen vino, mendocino naturalmente (no puedo decir otra cosa como buena hija de mendocina).
El acompañamiento con una salsita tipo chimichurri, pero bien picante, es habitual en las provincias de Salta y Jujuy.

Picture of Melissa Melissa said on...
10.23.05 at 08:17 PM |

Marcela, sera posible que compartas con nosotros/as una receta de salsita chimichurri picantita como las que sirven en las provincias de Salta y Jujuy? Ay que rico smile Yo he probado diferentes tipos de chimichurri, unos hechos con ingredientes frescos, otros con los ingredientes secos…todos muy ricos, PERO…., que tal si nos ilustras smile

Picture of Lisa Lisa said on...
06.20.07 at 12:57 PM |

Oh, those empanadas look delicious! And so pretty. I adore empanadas. Thanks for the wine suggestions, too.

I recently made a version of chimichurri sauce for the first time and loved it. I’ll have to try your version sometime.

Picture of Oyun Oyun said on...
02.19.08 at 09:14 PM |

Las que prefiero son las tucumanas o las mendocinas. Tan jugosas que chorreen. Con un buen vino, mendocino naturalmente (no puedo decir otra cosa como buena hija de mendocina).
El acompañamiento con una salsita tipo chimichurri, pero bien picante, es habitual en las provincias de Salta y Jujuy.

Picture of South American Ana South American Ana said on...
07.10.08 at 09:04 AM |

I’m from Uruguay, and to me there’s nothing like a good empanada de carne with a nice tannat wine (there are excellent wines in Uruguay, gold medals in worldwide championships). Argentinean empanadas are amazing as well. And Chimichurri sauce is for sure other favourite, also great with asado (barbecued meat)

Picture of Tom blender Tom blender said on...
05.06.09 at 10:15 AM |

Hello Chef Melissa, Really very nice and good information you share here on TRIO wine and also tasty food item which name is Chimichurri. Here you also explain nice recipe information too. Thanks!

Picture of Marisa Robles .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) said on...
12.10.10 at 03:17 AM |

Thanks for sharing the recipe with the paired wine!  I’m looking for recipes that go well with wine and I’m excited to try yours!  I love empanadas, so this will be a great dish for me!

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