Greeting one and all! How are you on this fine day, the 29th day in the Lenten Season? As promised, I have for you another delicious recipe void of pork, beef or chicken. The pretty much leaves us with ingredients grown from the ground or swimming in the waters somewhere.
I prefer the water variety myself, but everything is flavored by what grows on the land. One of the best chickens I’ve ever eaten was a free-range chicken in Wyoming. The restaurant raised their own birds. If you’ve ever been to Wyoming, than you know first hand that the land is wild sage country. The meat of the chicken had the flavor of wild sage because the bird had a steady diet of the sage.
We aren’t here to chat about chickens. We’re hear to talk about Empanadas. After all, today is National Empanada Day. Did you know that Empanadas are the cousin to the Cornish Pastry? These delicious pockets of flavor are a fixture of various Latin American, Caribbean, Filipino, Spanish and South American cuisines. The name “Empanada” comes from the Spanish verb “Empanar”, which means to wrap or cover in bread. That’s a fairly accurate description of an Empanada, don’t you think? The filling, dough and cooking method vary widely not only by country. The Empanada is also greatly influenced by geographic regions and demographic complexities. These factors may dictate whether a region’s Empanada contains more potato or vegetable than meat. As for cooking method, more cosmopolitan setting produce an Empanada that has been baked, while rural environments serve fried Empanadas. Empanadas can be enjoyed at breakfast, served at a luncheon or consumed at dinner. They can be classified as an appetizer or even a snack. It all depends upon your approach. Stuffed with anything from sweet to savory, these little pastries really get around. I’ve even had dessert Empanadas with a chocolate dough, if you can imagine!
This is the Lenten Season, so I thought I’d share with you a delightful Crab filled Empanada that is baked rather than fried. It can be a snack, or an appetizer or whatever you like. I hope you enjoy!
1 large Garlic, pressed
1 1/4 cup Mayonnaise
1/4 cup Mustard
1 tablespoons Smoked Paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons Creole Seasoning
2 teaspoons prepared Horseradish
1 teaspoon Dill Picke Juice
1 teaspoons Tabasco Sauce
Peel garlic and press directly into a medium bowl. Add all remaining ingredients. Blend well and refrigerate for several hours for flavors to mature.
Store in the refrigerator.
8 oz. Cream Cheese
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted Butter
1 1/2 cups Flour
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoons Baking Powder
1 tablespoon Sugar
Set out the cream cheese and butter and let come to room temperature before using.
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 the dough is chilling, prepare the crab filling.
1 1/2 cups Red Bell Pepper, chopped
1 1/2 cups Green Bell Pepper, chopped
1/2 cup White Onion, chopped
2 Garlic Cloves minced
1 lb Lump Crab Meat
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
1 tablespoons Dry Sherry
1/2 cup Breadcrumbs
Sea Salt to taste
White Pepper to taste
Core, seed and chop red and green bell peppers. Set aside.
Peel and chop white onion, set aside.
Peel and mince garlic cloves, set aside.
Pick over crab meat for any remaining shell, flaking the meat as you go. Set aside.
Heat olive oil over high heat, then add peppers and onions and sauté until onions are translucent. Add garlic and sauté an additional minute. Remove from heat, and add crab, gently fold into vegetables. season with salt and pepper to taste.
Allow crab mixture to cool to room temperature.
Once the crab mixture has cooled, whisk the eggs and sherry together in a small bowl using a fork. Add egg mixture and breadcrumbs to crab, and gently fold together.
The Empanadas can now be assembled and baked.
1 tablespoon Water
Heat oven to 400 degrees.
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.
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.
Whisk together the egg with the water in a small bowl. Brush egg wash over Empanadas.
Bake in the heated oven for 20 minutes or until golden.
Serve immediately with Remoulade.