Some of our favorite ways to eat seafood in Veracruz are the cold salads and cocktails featuring shrimp, crab and other local seafood. This recipe for cuaresmeños – large jalapeños – stuffed with crab meat can be made a day ahead and kept in the refrigerator, then served either cold or at room temperature as hors d’ouevres, appetizers or a light lunch dish. Try using tuna or baby shrimp in place of the crabmeat.
For the chiles:
- 24 cuaresmeño – large jalapeño – chiles
- 2 quarts water
- 1/2 cup white vinegar
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 2 piloncillo cones or 2 cups firmly packed dark brown sugar
For the filling:
- 3 1/2 cups picked-over cooked crabmeat, shredded
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped green onions
- 2 roma tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- juice of 1/2 lime
- salt and pepper to taste
Place the chiles in a large saucepan, cover with water, add vinegar and salt and bring to a boil. Immediately remove pan from heat and rinse chiles under cold water.
Return chiles to saucepan, add water to cover and 1 of the piloncillo cones or 1 cup of the sugar. Bring to a boil lower heat and simmer 5 minutes. Drain and repeat procedure using the remaining piloncillo cone or sugar. Drain and rinse chiles and allow to cool. Make a lengthwise slit up one side of each chile and remove seeds.
While chiles are cooling, combine all filling ingredients, mixing well. Divide filling evenly among chiles and serve either chilled or at room temperature.
Makes 24 hors d’ouevres.