This recipe is part of a Cuban-Style Christmas: Mojito, Garlic Plantain Chips, Lime, Garlic, and Oregano Mojo, Avocado Salad, Gloria's Black Bean Soup, Crab Empanadas with Pickled Garlic-Caper Remoulade and Roasted Pork Marinade.
Pickled Garlic (recipe follows):
1. Place all of the roumoulade ingredients in a blender and food processor and puree until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
2. To prepare the crab filling, heat the olive oil in a saute pan or skillet and saute the garlic and onion over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let cool slightly.
3. Transfer the onion and garlic to a large mixing bowl. Add the crabmeat, tomatoes, Parmesan, and scallions, and mix well. Season with salt and pepper and refrigerate.
4. To prepare the dough, place 2 cups of the flour in a mixing bowl. Add the vegetable oil and water slowly, mixing on a low speed with an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add the remaining cup of flour and the salt, and mix until thoroughly incorporated and the dough is elastic.
5. Turn out the dough to a well-floured work surface and roll out to a thickness of about 1/8 of an inch. Using a 3-inch round pastry cutter, cut out 15 to 20 circles.
6. Place about 1 tablespoon of the crab filling in the center of each dough round, fold over to form a half-moon or turnover, and seal the edges with a fork.
7. In a large cast-iron pan, heat 1 inch of the oil to 300 degrees. Fry the empanadas until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Serve with remoulade on the side.
Yield: Approximately 1 quart
1. In a saucepan, bring the vinegar, sugar, and salt to a boil and stir until the sugar and salt dissolve.
2. Place the garlic cloves in a glass storage jar and add the thyme, peppercorns, bay leaves, and mustard seeds. Pour the vinegar into the jar and let cool. Cover and store until needed.
"My mother taught me that food was fuel," says writer Elissa Altman. "That food was dangerous. That food was the enemy." As Altman's mother grows older, Altman is finding it difficult to get her to eat.