James Beard–nominated cookbook author Jennifer Trainer Thompson’s new book title says it all: a fearless guide to grilling, shucking, searing, poaching and roasting seafood. If you have a fish craving that can only be satisfied in your own kitchen, Thompson has a recipe, detailed instructions and plenty of information on why your hankering is awesome.
I fell in love with fish empanadas (a stuffed pastry that is baked or fried) after spending time in Vieques, Puerto Rico. This version is a handy way to use up leftover crabmeat; you could also substitute shrimp or fish.
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 (8-ounce package) cream cheese, softened
- 4 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1 egg (for egg wash)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 roasted red pepper, diced
- 1/2 cup yellow onion, diced
- 2 teaspoons minced jalapeños
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/2 pound crabmeat
- 2 tablespoons chopped basil
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- freshly ground black pepper
For the empanadas
To make the dough: Sift the flour with baking powder and salt. In a large bowl, mix the cream cheese and butter with an electric mixer, adding the flour gradually and mixing until smooth. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
To make the filling: In a sauté pan, heat the oil and sauté the red pepper, onion, and jalapeños for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté 1 minute more. Remove the pan from the heat and add the crab, basil, cilantro, salt, and a few grindings of pepper.
Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
To assemble the empanadas: Lightly flour a surface and divide the dough into four pieces (keeping it in the refrigerator as you use one piece at a time). With a floured rolling pin, roll out the dough ⅛ inch thick, and cut it into 4-inch circles. Put a tablespoon of filling in the center of each circle, fold the dough over to make a half circle, and crimp the edges. (You can make larger empanadas if you wish.) As you make the empanadas, cover them with a dish towel to keep them moist.
In a small bowl, make an egg wash by whisking the egg with a teaspoon of water. Assemble the empanadas on a lightly greased baking sheet, brush with the egg wash, and bake until golden, 15 to 20 minutes.