Crabmeat Empanadas with Grilled Corn Salsa & Poblano Cream Sauce

CrabEmpanadasServes sixteen

Please do not let the length of the recipe deter you from making these empanada.

For the grilled corn salsa:
6 medium ears corn, divided 5 grilled for the salsa and 1 for the empanada filling *See note below
3 Tbs. fresh lime juice (from 1 medium lime)
2 Tbs. sunflower or vegetable oil
2 Tbs. thinly sliced chives
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the poblano cream sauce:
3 medium poblano peppers
1 cup heavy cream
1 Tbs. sunflower or vegetable oil
1/2 cup small-diced white onion
2 medium cloves garlic, minced
Kosher salt

For the empanadas:
1/2 lb. crabmeat, picked over for shells
2 Tbs. thinly sliced scallion greens
1 Tbs. fresh lime juice
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 large egg (for sealing empanadas), lightly beaten
4 sheets frozen packaged puff pastry, thawed (cut each sheet into 4 equal parts)

Make the grilled corn salsa:
* Note:
When corn is not in season substitute frozen corn. By my reckoning one cup of frozen corn is roughly equivalent to one ear of corn. If you have a cast iron skillet, “grill” the thawed frozen corn over a high heat. Otherwise any screaming hot skillet will do the trick.

If using fresh ears of corn, soak ears (with husks) in cold water for 30 minutes. Wrap each cob in foil and place on a medium-hot grill, cover grill, rolling each ear a quarter turn every 8 minutes until the cobs have made a complete rotation, 32 minutes total. Remove the foil, let the ears cool enough to handle, and remove the husks.

Set one ear aside and put the remaining five back on the grill. Cook, turning the cobs once, until they are lightly charred, 2 to 3 minutes. Cool the corn on a rack.

Cut the charred corn from the cobs and put it in a medium bowl. Stir in the lime juice, oil, and chives and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Make the poblano cream sauce:
Char the poblanos on the grill, turning them with tongs as soon as each side becomes fully blackened, 6 to 10 minutes. Put the charred poblanos in a paper bag and roll down the top to seal it (alternately you can put them in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap but I find the paper bag method makes for easy clean up). When cool enough to handle, remove the charred skin and seeds.

In a heavy-duty 2-quart saucepan, bring the cream to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat to medium and simmer until reduced to 1/2 cup, about 5 minutes.

Heat the oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened but not browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Put the onion mixture, poblanos, and 2 Tbs. water in a blender and puree until smooth. Stir the poblano puree into the reduced cream and season to taste with salt. Keep warm.

Make the empanadas:
Position racks in the top and bottom thirds of the oven and heat the oven to 400°F.

Cut the uncharred corn from the cob. In a medium bowl, stir together the corn, crabmeat, scallion greens, lime juice, 1 tsp. salt, and a few grinds of pepper.

Beat the egg in small bowl with 1 Tbs. of water.

Cut each puff pastry sheet into four equal parts. Drop  ¼ cup of the crab mixture in the center of each pastry square. With a pastry brush, brush two adjoining edges of each square with the egg and fold the opposite corner over to form a triangle, sealing all the way around with your thumb. Press a fork down on the sealed edges at regular intervals to form small ridges. Transfer the empanadas to two parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes.

Serve with poblano cream and corn salsa.

Make Ahead Tips
You can assemble and freeze some or all of the empanadas to bake later. Freeze them on a baking sheet and then store in a ziptop bag for up to a month. To bake, heat the oven to 475°F. Put the frozen empanadas on a parchment-lined baking sheet, reduce the oven temperature to 400°F, and bake until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes.




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