Sunday, August 28, 2011

Crab Empanadas

We made these tasty savory cuban pastries as an appetizer for our Hurrican Irene party.  Moist flavorful crab, scented with sherry encased in a delicate pastry crust.  YUM.  These are like a pastry-wrapped crab cake.  They can be eaten as is, or served with a simple remoulade or hollandaise sauce.

I used whole wheat pastry flour for the dough, but all purpose flour also works well.

Crab Empanadas
serves 8

Empanada dough
1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (or all purpose flour)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 Tbsp sugar
8 oz. cream cheese (room temperature)
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter (room temperature)

Combine flour, salt, baking powder and sugar in a sifter and sift into a bowl.  In the bowl of a stand mixer combine cream cheese and butter and mix until well blended.  Gradually add sifted dry ingredients and mix just until a soft dough forms.  Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate 30 minutes.

While dough is chilling prepare crab filling:

Crab Filling
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 cups chopped red bell peppers
1 1/2 cups chopped green bell peppers
1/2 cup chopped white onion
2 cloves garlic minced
1 lb. lump crab meat
2 eggs
1 Tbsp dry sherry
1/2 cup bread crumbs
salt and pepper to taste

Heat olive oil over high heat, then add peppers and onions and saute until onions are translucent.  Add garlic and saute an additional minute. Remove from heat, and add crab, gently fold into vegetables. season with salt and pepper to taste.   Allow to cool to room temperature.

Sauteed peppers, onion, garlic and crab...

Once crab mixture is cooled, combine eggs and sherry in a small bowl and whisk to mix with a fork.  Add egg mixture and bread crumbs to crab, and gently fold together.

Pre-heat oven to 400F.

Remove dough from refrigerator and gently roll into a log about 12 inches long.  Slice into 8 equal pieces.  On a lightly floured surface, roll each slice into an 8-inch circle about 1/8 thick (this will be rustic).

Divide crab filling equally among dough circles, then fold in half and roll edges to seal.  With your fingers make a decorative fluted edge. Transfer empanadas to an un-greased baking sheet.

Assembling the rustic empanadas...

Combine 1 egg and 1 Tbsp water in a small bowl and whisk to combine.  Brush egg wash over empanadas.  Bake 20 minutes at 400F.  Serve immediately with remoulade or hollandaise sauce if desired.

Mama Ozzy's quick and easy remoulade sauce:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 Tbsp coarse ground brown mustard
1 Tbsp hot sauce

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl or ramekin, mix to combine.

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