Aji is a South American pesto made with cilantro. It’s true that this is a carb-heavy dish, if you like you can omit the dough and just eat the filling with the Aji on top. You can also modify the filling as you like.
To make the dough: Use your favorite pie dough, or beat together 1 egg, 1/3 C. water and 1 T. white vinegar in a dish. Sift 2 1/2 C. flour and 1 t. salt together. Cut 1 stick of cold butter into small pieces.
Using your fingers, blend the butter and flour together until they are crumbly. Add the liquid and stir with a fork.
Knead the dough briefly to combine. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
To make filling: Heat 3 T. olive oil in a large skillet. Add 1 diced onion and cook until soft, then add 1 diced sweet pepper and 1 minced clove of garlic.
Dice 1 lb. of potatoes and add to the pan along with 1/2 C. of water. When the potatoes begin to soften, add 2 C. trimmed, chopped green beans. Continue cooking until the beans are cooked through and the potatoes are tender. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
To assemble Empanadas: Roll the dough out into 4 inch circles and spoon filling onto it. Fold the circles into half moons and brush with melted butter.
Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes, until the dough is nicely browned.
To make the Aji: Trim the roots and tough stems from 1 bunch of cilantro.
In a pan, roast 3 jalapeno peppers (or 1 sweet pepper, if you prefer) until blistered on all sides. Allow to cool, then remove the cores, stem and seeds.
Puree the peppers and cilantro with the juice of 1 lime and 3 T. diced green onions. Season with salt to taste.