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I’ve been really into fruit salsas this summer and when the hot, steamy weather last week left me craving watermelon, I decided to make a Latin American style meal featuring light and fresh summer flavors. These crab and corn empanadas were a huge hit! The crust was crispy and flakey and, while the flavor of the filling was unexpected, it just worked. The smokey and complex flavor of the poblano sauce paired perfectly with the rest of the meal — I based it off the enchilada sauce that I made for my pork and pineapple stacked enchilada and I was a little worried that it wouldn’t be good without being baked with cheese, but it definitely held its own in this dish. The pool of sauce under the empanada made for a gorgeous plate and I wouldn’t hesitate to serve this to guests. Actually, it would make a perfect dinner party dish, since the prep work is very quick and can be done ahead of time.

The empanadas were also great left over! I think they may have even gotten better after spending the night in the fridge. To reheat them, I just popped the in the toaster oven on “light” for 2 minutes — just enough to crisp up the outside and warm them through.

I served these with sauteed plantains and watermelon salsa (watermelon, red onion, jalapeno, lime juice, and salt). The meal was light and refreshing. If you want a more substantial dinner, they would also be great with a side of black beans.

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Baked Crab and Corn Empanadas
  • 1 can crab meat
  • 2 scallions, sliced
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 1 cup corn
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 egg, beaten together with 1 Tbs water
  • 1 package puff pastry, thawed

In a large bowl, combine the crab meat, scallions, corn, and lime juice. Season with salt and pepper.

Cut each sheet of pastry into 4 squares. Place one rounded tablespoon of the crab and corn mixture into the center of each square. Brush the edges of the pastry with the egg, then fold it over to form a triangle with the filling inside. Use the tines of a fork to seal the pastry by crimping the edges together. Brush the top of the pastry with the remaining egg.

Arrange on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, or until golden brown.

Serves 8. Approx. 280 calories, 16 grams fat, 1 gram fiber, 8.5 grams protein

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[print_this]Roasted Poblano Sauce

  • 2 poblano peppers
  • 2 tomatillos
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 onion, minced
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 Tbs cornstarch

Light a grill or broiler to high. Place the chiles on the grill/under the broiler and cook for several minutes until the skins turn black and begin to blister. Remove and allow to cool. Remove the papery leaves from the tomatillos and add those. Cook 1-2 minutes or until they just begin to soften. Remove and let cool.

Remove the stem and seed core from the peppers. Use a knife to scrape away the outermost layer of skin (it will be very thin and film-like and should peel off fairly easily). Chop.

Use a blender or food processor to puree the tomatillos. Add the tomatillo puree, chopped chiles, broth, onion, garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper to a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer for 10 minutes. Whisk in the cornstarch and let simmer another 10 minutes, or until the sauce is thickened.

Yields approx. 1.5 cups sauce

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