Dungeness Crab and Wild Mushroom Empanadas

This recipe is from Chef Silver at the Little River Inn. Serve with 2017 Sauvignon Blanc.

1 1/2 pounds masa harina
1 tablespoon salt, or less to taste
2 cups water
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 30-ounce can tomato juice
1 pound mixed mushrooms (combination of shiitake, cremini, and field mushrooms), thinly sliced
1 pound cooked fresh Dungeness crabmeat
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 1/2 cup feta cheese
1 to 2 cups vegetable oil for frying
salt and pepper to taste

In a mixing bowl, stir the masa with about 1 tablespoon salt. Add water one cup at a time and mix with your hands until the masa is the consistency of a very thick paste. Cover with a wet towel and set aside.

In a saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon canola oil and stir in the tomato juice. Bring to a boil and reduce by 1/2. Cover and keep warm.

In a sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons canola oil until barely smoking, add the mushrooms, and sauté for approximately 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and remove from heat. Cool to room temperature.

Put the crab together with the mixed mushrooms in a large bowl. Add the lime juice and cilantro, stir, and set aside.

With your hands, break off masa into 2-ounce portions and roll into balls. With a tortilla press, flatten a masa ball. Place approximately 1 tablespoon crab mixture in the middle of the "tortilla" and fold in half. Seal the edges. Repeat for as many empanadas as you need.

Add 1 cup frying oil to a deep sauté pan and heat to medium high. Slowly slide empanadas, one at a time, into the hot oil. Cuidado! Brown on one side, turn, and brown on the other side. Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and drain on paper toweling. Set aside and keep warm. Use more oil as necessary as you finish cooking the empanadas.

To serve, ladle 1 tablespoon reduced tomato sauce over each empanada and sprinkle with feta cheese.

Husch Vineyards
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