Monday, January 23, 2017
Crab Mornay En Croute
In our current, ever-more-bizarre world, carbohydrates often feel like our best defense. (Regular exercise is also key for this coping strategy to remain effective; resistance needs to be quick on its feet!) I made today's recipe one recent evening - in the mood for something nostalgic and a bit naff - and it absolutely hit the spot. NB that the "crab" mixture has multiple applications: a perfect filling for puff pastry, it's also an excellent stuffing for baked mushrooms, makes a nice dip for crudités, crackers, and/or crusty bread, and would be equally good in a sandwich, or served on English muffins under some melted vegan cheese for brunch.
Crab Mornay En Croute
~ 1 package puff pastry, thawed (Pepperidge Farm is vegan)
~ 2 packages Gardein crabless cakes, cooked and mashed
~ 1 tbsp. each: canola oil, vegan margarine (I use Earth Balance)
~ 1 cup chopped scallions, shallots, or a combination
~ 2 cups chopped brown mushrooms
~ 1 tsp. each: salt, tarragon, mustard powder
~ ½ tsp. each: white pepper, marjoram, cayenne
~ Dash nutmeg
~ ¼ cup dry sherry
~ 1 tbsp. flour
~ 1.5 cups plain, unsweetened soy milk
~ Cook the crabless cakes according to package directions; mash and set aside, then turn the oven down to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
~ In a large, deep skillet, combine the oil and margarine over medium-high heat and saute the scallions/shallots for about a minute. Add the mushrooms and seasonings and cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms have released their liquid and started to brown.
~ Pour in the sherry to deglaze the pan, making sure to get any bits that may be sticking. After about a minute, add the flour and a little of the soy milk and mix well until the vegetables are coated.
~ Gradually add the remaining milk and stir well; turn the heat to low and simmer for about 5 minutes, until the mixture begins to thicken.
~ Stir in the mashed crab cakes, combine thoroughly, and continue cooking for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool to room temperature.
~ When the crab mixture is cooled, arrange the thawed puff pastry sheets on a nonstick baking sheet and divide the filling between them, spreading it evenly along the lefthand third of each sheet.
~ Fold each sheet over the filling to form an envelope, carefully crimping the edges to seal.
~ Prick the tops of the pastry several times with a fork, and bake at 375 degrees for about 25 minutes, until puffed and golden brown (ovens vary wildly, so check occasionally).
~ Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.