Today’s recipe: Étouffée Empanada. Yes. That’s right. Shrimp and Crawfish in Étouffée sauce, wrapped in Flaky Pastry and baked. This month’s Fish Friday Foodies theme was Seafood Pie and this is mine. All other FFF seafood pie recipes are linked in the post.
For this month’s Fish Friday Foodies theme, I originally had another idea entirely. Then I forgot what I had planned and used the same ingredients for last month’s post. Since I didn’t want to have two salmon recipes in a row, I decided to change what I did altogether.
I thought of doing an empanada, but nothing else came to me. Even as late as Tuesday of this week, I knew what fish I was going to use, but not how I was going to season it. Then, inspiration struck and I decided that the shrimp and crawfish would be in an Étouffée sauce. Finally.
As my thought processes for the post developed, I discussed with Mr. Saucy some of my ideas. He got really excited by the thought of dunking an empanada into a huge vat of tartar sauce; so when I said I was going to do an Étouffée sauce, I think he was a tad disappointed. Until he ate one.
I made my flaky pastry and I’ve given you the recipe. One thing I did was to use Creole seasoning in the pastry itself. That little change in my normal pastry recipe made a lot of difference in the finished empanada. I normally tell you that you can use store-bought pastry as a substitute, and you still can. If you use either a prepared pie crust, or puff pastry, just shake a little bit of Creole seasoning over it and press it in before you use the dough.
The Étouffée sauce is traditional. It contains the trinity of Creole and Cajun cooking: onions, green pepper and celery. Sautéed in butter, the vegetables are then coated with flour to form the roux. Once I made the sauce, I covered it and set it off the heat while my pastry chilled. I added the crawfish tails (which I found frozen as tail meat – yay for not having to clean them) and fresh shrimp once the sauce was somewhat cooled. Since the empanadas were going to bake, the fish didn’t have to be cooked through before going into the pastry dough.
One thing I have done is to keep this sauce relatively thick. Since it had to be stuffed into the pastry, I didn’t want it to be runny. So, resist the urge to add more liquid; it really needs to be thick. Here it is on the pastry so you can see the consistency:
I just rolled the dough out into an 8 inch “circle” for an entrée portion (as you can see, I’m not picky about having perfectly round dough, or cutting the edges). You could do smaller circles for an appetizer-sized serving. Here are the stuffed pies, prior to baking:
After assembly, the pastry is brushed with an egg wash and baked for 25 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown. And that’s all there is to it.
The empanadas were great. The filling was delicious and the flaky pastry was wonderful! I hope you’ll try these. They aren’t hard to do and they are incredibly tasty!
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons diced green pepper
- 2 tablespoons diced onion
- 2 tablespoons diced celery
- 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons Creole seasoning
- 1½ cups stock (I used a lobster stock I had in my freezer, but store-bought seafood, or chicken stock would be great)
- 1½ cups crawfish tails (I found frozen tail meat for mine)
- 1½ cup shrimp pieces (I used fresh shrimp, cleaned and diced)
- Flaky pastry (recipe follows)
- Egg wash (one egg and milk beaten) for brushing the pastry
- In a large skillet, over medium heat, add the butter until melted.
- Add the green pepper, onion and celery and saute for about 4 minutes (I covered my skillet so the vegetables would steam to a softer consistency during this period)
- Add the flour and Creole seasoning and stir to combine, making sure all the flour is incorporated to the butter.
- Continue to cook for about 2 minutes.
- Add the stock and stir well to combine with the roux.
- Continue to cook for about 3 minutes. Don't be tempted to thin this, it needs to be thick. Cover and remove from the heat.
- Allow to cool a bit before adding the crawfish and shrimp (I prepared my sauce while my pastry was chilling, so I added the fish just before stuffing).
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Divide the stuffing mixture for transfer to the dough, I made 4 entree servings on 8 inch rounds, this would likely make 24 appetizer servings.
- Place the appropriate amount of filling on the rolled out dough, fold over and crimp.
- Place the filled empanada onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (or a baking mat).
- Brush the surface of the dough with egg wash, place the baking sheet into the oven and bake for 25 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Serve hot.
- 2¼ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon Creole seasoning
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes
- 1 large egg
- ⅓ cup ice water
- 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
- Sift flour with salt into the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal, (or in a bowl and blend in butter with your fingertips or a pastry blender).
- Beat together egg, water, and vinegar in a small bowl with a fork.
- Add to flour mixture, pulsing (or stirring with a fork) until just incorporated. (Mixture will look shaggy.)
- Turn out mixture onto a lightly floured surface and gather together, then knead gently with heel of your hand once or twice, just enough to bring dough together.
- Form dough into a flat rectangle wrap in plastic wrap and chill for about an hour.
Thanks to Stacy Livingston Rushton at Food Lust People Love for hosting this month’s event. Links to other Fish Friday Foodies Seafood Pies below: