Maine Lobster Empanadas

Maine Lobster Empanadas

Mark Murrell

Empanadas are known across the world by many different names: pastel, pate, etc. But add just one important ingredient—lobster—and it won’t matter where you are or what you call it, because it suddenly becomes universally delicious. Fresh hand-picked lobster mixed with sweet corn and salty cheese wrapped up tightly in empanada dough combines to create a warming and soulful meal. 

Wine & Beer Pairing: Champagne, Viognier, Corona, Red Stripe beer, un-oaked and buttery Chardonnays

Ingredients

For the Main Event

  • 1 cup hand-picked lobster meat, roughly diced
  • ¾ cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 2 Tbsp chives, chopped
  • ½ stick butter, unsalted
  • 2 Tbsp yellow onion, minced
  • ¼ cup + 2 Tbsp flour
  • 2 Tbsp white wine
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup corn, frozen
  • ¼ tsp cumin
  • ¼ tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/8 tsp coriander
  • 1/8 tsp celery salt
  • 1 batch empanada dough
  • 2 egg yolks +1 Tbsp water (egg wash)
  • Salt & FGBP to taste

For the Dough

  • 1 ¼ cups water
  • 2 Tbsp lard
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 tsp champagne vinegar

Preparation

For the Dough

Bring the water, salt and lard to a boil in a small pot over medium heat. Turn off the heat and let it cool for five minutes. Add the flour into a mixer. Slowly add water and vinegar and mix on medium heat with a dough hook attachment for five minutes, or until the dough pulls away from the sides cleanly. Let the dough rest for ten minutes while covered with plastic wrap.

Divide the dough into quarters and roll out to 1/8-inch, using a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface. Using a pasta rolling machine will make this task easier. Cut out 4 ½-inch rounds, using a large ring mold or free hand. Place each round on parchment-lined plat or a sheet tray. Repeat this using all of the dough. Avoid stacking the dough without using a parchment layer to prevent sticking. Refrigerate for two hours.

For the Filling

Add 1 tablespoon of oil to a medium pan and heat over medium-high. Add the corn until the kernels are seared. (approximately two minutes) Remove the corn from the pan. Add the butter and reduce the heat to medium. After the butter melts, add the onions and allow them to sweat until they are translucent and aromatic. Remember to season in stages.

Mix in the flour to make a roux. Stir well and avoid and clumps. Slowly whisk in milk and white wine. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer until the sauce thickens. Add the corn and seasoning. Mix thoroughly and remove from the heat. Fold in cheese, lobster meat and chives.

For the Main Event

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Working on a lightly floured surface, lay out a few dough rounds at a time. Place a generous tablespoon of mix into the center of each dough round. Brush the edges with egg wash and fold over into a half moon. Press out as much air as possible from the half moons and then press the edges tightly to seal. Place filled empanadas on a baking sheet and repeat this process until complete. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes.

Enjoy!