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Crabmeat Enchiladas Criollo

Most Hispanic restaurants in these precincts include a seafood-stuffed dish or two on their menus. Not many of these are especially good. The problem is that the seafood is overcooked and doesn’t interact well with the sauces.

Here is my version of a seafood enchilada, using a few ideas from our own local cuisine (“Criollo” in Spanish). I go against common local practice in resisting the temptation to use every kind of seafood in this. Use shrimp, crawfish, crabmeat, scallops, flaked fish, even oysters. . . but just one of those, not all.

Also, you will never convince me that seafood and melted cheese are a good combination, but you may like to add some Monterey jack cheese into the sauce or the filling.

  • 1 Tbs. butter
  • 1 tsp. finely chopped garlic
  • 1/4 cup finely diced red and green bell pepper
  • 1 lb. white crabmeat, medium peeled shrimp, or Louisiana crawfish tails
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine (best: Sauvignon Blanc)
  • 1 cup shrimp or crab stock
  • 1 tsp. Tabasco jalapeno pepper sauce
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/4 cup finely diced tomato
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 12 small, thin flour tortillas
  • Sauce:
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 4 oz. sour cream
  • 1 small jalapeno, all seeds and inner membranes removed, chopped
  • 6 sprigs cilantro, leaves only, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. Creole seasoning
  • 1 Tbs. chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp. cumin
  • Salt

1. Melt the butter in a skillet. Saute the garlic and bell pepper until the garlic smells good (about a minute).

2. If using shrimp, add them to the pan and cook until they turn pink. Crawfish and crabmeat are already cooked; add them, and proceed immediately with the rest of the recipe.

3. Add the wine and bring it to a boil for about a minute. Then add the shrimp or crab stock and the Tabasco green pepper sauce, and return to a light boil.

4. Add the green onions, tomato, and salt. Lower the heat and simmer, agitating the pan to mix the contents. Cook only long enough to heat everything through, then stir in all the other ingredients. Remove from the heat and keep warm.

5. To make the sauce, bring the whipping cream to a light boil in a saucepan and reduce by half. Stir in the sour cream until well blended. Add the remaining ingredients and cook for about another minute. Add salt to taste.

6. Warm the tortillas in the microwave oven. Spoon the filling into the tortillas and roll closed, seam side down, on the serving plate. Nap with the pepper cream sauce.

Serves twelve appetizers or six entrees.

  • 1 Tbs. butter
  • 1 tsp. finely chopped garlic
  • 1/4 cup finely diced red and green bell pepper
  • 1 lb. white crabmeat, medium peeled shrimp, or Louisiana crawfish tails
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine (best: Sauvignon Blanc)
  • 1 cup shrimp or crab stock
  • 1 tsp. Tabasco jalapeno pepper sauce
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/4 cup finely diced tomato
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 12 small, thin flour tortillas
  • Sauce:
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 4 oz. sour cream
  • 1 small jalapeno, all seeds and inner membranes removed, chopped
  • 6 sprigs cilantro, leaves only, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. Creole seasoning
  • 1 Tbs. chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp. cumin
  • Salt

1. Melt the butter in a skillet. Saute the garlic and bell pepper until the garlic smells good (about a minute).

2. If using shrimp, add them to the pan and cook until they turn pink. Crawfish and crabmeat are already cooked; add them, and proceed immediately with the rest of the recipe.

3. Add the wine and bring it to a boil for about a minute. Then add the shrimp or crab stock and the Tabasco green pepper sauce, and return to a light boil.

4. Add the green onions, tomato, and salt. Lower the heat and simmer, agitating the pan to mix the contents. Cook only long enough to heat everything through, then stir in all the other ingredients. Remove from the heat and keep warm.

5. To make the sauce, bring the whipping cream to a light boil in a saucepan and reduce by half. Stir in the sour cream until well blended. Add the remaining ingredients and cook for about another minute. Add salt to taste.

6. Warm the tortillas on a griddle or in a wide, heavy skillet. Spoon the filling into the tortillas and roll closed, seam side down, on the serving plate. Nap with the pepper cream sauce.

Serves twelve appetizers or six entrees.

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