Today is the final Friday of Lent. Next Friday is Good Friday, part of Holy Week. The time of Lenten Penance is coming to an end.
Lord, open my lips
And my mouth shall proclaim Your praise.
I will sing of steadfast love and justice;
To You, O Lord, I will make music.
Today is also National Empanada Day. When I realized that Empanada Day and the last Friday of Lent were one and the same, my first instinct was to make Shrimp Empanadas. Just one small problem. Back in 2020, Empanada Day and Holy Wednesday were one and the same day. As part of an attempt to restrict meat during Holy Week, we had Shrimp Empanadas. The only exception to the no-meat plan that year was Holy Thursday. Roasted meats are traditional for Holy Thursday.
Roasted meats is neither here nor there. Today is about Empanadas. Now I realize there’s more than one way to make Shrimp Empanadas. But why not just go in another seafood direction? Yep, Crab. Sweet, wonderful Crab. Add some spice, bake it in a crust and wow – another hit.
Baked Crab Empanadas
1/4 Yellow Onion
1 Mini Bell Pepper
1 large Jalapeno Pepper
2 tablespoons Cilantro
1 (6 oz) can White Lump Crabmeat
1/2 cup Black Beans
1/2 cup frozen Corn
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
1 teaspoon New Mexican Red Chili Powder
3-1/2 tablespoons Mayonnaise
1 Refrigerated Pie Dough Crust
1 teaspoon Water
Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper, set aside.
Cut a wedge from the onion about a quarter of its size. Reserve remaining onion for another purpose. Peel and dice remaining quarter. Stem, seed and dice the bell pepper and jalapeno pepper. Set aside. Cut lime in half, set aside. Snip cilantro, set aside.
Drain crab meat, flake and set aside. Rinse and drain black beans, set aside. Rinse corn under cold water to thaw, set aside.
Heat a tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, red bell pepper and jalapeno pepper. Cook for about 3 minutes or until vegetables begin to soften. Add corn and cook another 3 minutes or until the corn begins to brown in spots.
Sprinkle Red Chili Powder over mixture and stir to combine. Squeeze fresh lime juice into mixture, scraping the bottom of the pan to get any browned bits.
Remove from heat. Add black beans, cilantro, crab meat and mayonnaise. Fold gently without breaking up the crab meat further until mixture is mostly uniform. Set aside to cool.
Roll out dough. Using a 3-inch round cutter, cut 8 disks from the dough, rerolling scraps as needed. Set disks aside on a flat work surface.
Make an egg wash for the empanadas by whisking together egg and water.
Working with one dough disk at a time, place several heaping tablespoons of filling just off center. Brush a bit of egg wash around the edge of the dough. Fold dough over filling to form a semi-circle, pressing down to adhere edges. Use the tines of a fork to crimp the edges of the empanadas for a seal.
Place filled empanadas onto prepared baking sheet. Brush tops with egg wash. Pearce with fork for vent holes. Repeat until all the disks have been prepared for baking.
Bake the empanadas for about 12 minutes, until golden brown and puffed up. Let cool slightly.
Arrange empanadas on a bed of greens for a nice presentation. Serve with salsa as a dipping sauce if desired.