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Sauce for empanadas. Help!

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Hey everyone, 


I am planning on doing a first course for a dinner this Saturday, and I am tasked to use butternut squash. My plans are to make little empanadas filled with duck confit, rosemary, and butternut squash. My problem, however, is conjuring up some sort of sauce for them. I've been recommended chili sauces, cream sauces, and salsa verde, but none of them seem like a good fit. I was thinking of maybe doing a really light roasted garlic and guajillo pepper aioli. My plan would be to keep both the garlic and the pepper tamed so most of the flavor would be in the empanada....What are yalls suggestions? Scrap the aioli? 


Warm regards, 



post #2 of 6

Your aioli idea sounds interesting. Another direction to consider is fruits that go well with duck, so maybe something based on say dried cherries or cranberries? A confit for the confit. :) Or maybe something chutney-like.

post #3 of 6

I've made these butternut empanadas before, but admittedly with marinated beef tenderloin.

Creme sauces dont match real well IMO with the pastry, and kind of "hides" it.

I also think your garlic and chile sauces might overpower the butternut, which has a delicate

natural sweetness when cooked.

(Assuming you're dicing or mincing the squash and sautéing? or maybe baking the filling?)


I've had good luck with a reduced basalmic (GOOD basalmic) shallot/ maple syrup sauce.

I add a dash of worcestershire as well--a nice balance of sweet sour and savory.

You can also chunk up a dried fruit or sommat in there too if you want more texture.

And it's not heavy,  plus it's semi-transparent and  looks real purty draped over  those "yadas".

post #4 of 6

I was thinking of a mole sauce.  Heavy on the Pepitas for a nice nutty Fall flavor.  Moles also usually have an element of sweetness to them, often by using raisins and Mexican brown sugar (piloncillo).  Instead, maybe use dried cherries, or even dried cranberries.  Since mole sauces are often paired with chicken I think it would be a natural with the duck.  Just lighten it up a bit so that it doesn't overwhelm the squash.

post #5 of 6
I know you're in the eleventh hour and i am late to the party,but my instinct is something along the lines of a light thai sweet chile sauce....maybe just a splash of coconut water? Maybe change out the rosemary for thyme or eliminate any herbs altogether in the squash and simply season with butter s/p and just an essence of pure maple syrup? chives are always nice to see and taste as well. for sure, scrap the aioli. Just curious, will you be plating this course or is it part of an appetizer table that guests will be serving themselves? If plating, then you have obvious total control on the sauce pairing/ratio.....sometimes I find if left up to the guests, food as much as you may plan it out and think it 'right brain' enough and come on, how close does a sauce need to be to a platter to not know it goes with it, can be upsetting and frustrating that it doesn't always get paired exactly how you think it should be. so it goes.....


i recently did a party where i served beef empanada appetizers with a mango habanero salsa....don't know if that would work for your duck but just throwing it out there.......anything goes!
good luck and have a fun party!!!!

food is like should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne


food is like should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

post #6 of 6

YES YOU'RE LATE--so the Epanadas are all gone and YOU GET TO PAY THE CHECK!! :p 


I dont think a little rosemary or basil would  interfere with the butternut in these....

Now your idea of a spiced mango salsa sounds pree good with it...

how does it present if drizzled on the yadas?

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