Crabmeat-and-Mashed-Potato Enchiladas in Sweet Red Pepper Sauce

Preparation info

  • Serves

    4 to 6

Appears in

Everything on the Table

Everything on the Table

By Colman Andrews

Published 1992

  • About


  • 5 large red bell peppers
  • 1 red or Bermuda onion, minced
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
  • Olive oil
  • ¾ pound Idaho potatoes, peeled and cut into eighths
  • Salt
  • ¾ cup crème fraîche or crema mexicana (Mexican-style sour cream)
  • 1 pound fresh lump crabmeat
  • 4 scallions, trimmed and finely chopped
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Spicy paprika
  • 12 8″ to 10″ flour tortillas
  • 1 pound fresh peas, shelled, or 1 cup frozen peas
  • 3 ounces firm young blue cheese (e.g., Cabrales, Danish Blue, or Maytag Blue)


Char peppers on gas grill, over gas flame on range, or in preheated broiler, turning occasionally, until black on all sides. Allow to cool slightly, then core and halve peppers, remove ribs and remaining seeds, scrape off skin, and set aside.

In a small saucepan, sweat onion and garlic in olive oil over medium-low heat until onion is very soft, then drain.

Meanwhile, place potatoes in a saucepan with cold salted water to cover. Bring to a boil over high heat and continue boiling until potatoes are done (about 20 minutes). Drain, allow to cool slightly, and mash well in a large bowl. Add crème fraîche or crema mexicana and mix well, then fold in crabmeat, scallions, and lemon juice.

Bring cream to a simmer in a saucepan. Meanwhile, purée peppers with softened onion and garlic in a blender or food processor. Stir purée into hot cream and return to a simmer, then remove from the heat and season with salt, pepper, and paprika to taste.

In a medium skillet, heat ¼″ of olive oil over high heat until very hot but not smoking. Using tongs, dip tortillas one by one in oil and fry for a few seconds on each side. Drain tortillas and stack them between paper towels. Add more oil to skillet and reduce heat slightly if oil begins to smoke.

Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly oil a 9″ × 11″ baking dish. Brush both sides of each tortilla with red pepper sauce and spread about¼ cup of crab mixture in a line down the center of each. Roll up tortillas and place seam side down in the baking dish. Spoon remaining red pepper sauce over tortillas, cover loosely with foil, and bake for about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook the peas al dente in boiling salted water. Drain and set aside.

Remove foil from enchiladas, crumble blue cheese on top, and continue baking, uncovered, until cheese is just melted. Serve enchiladas scattered with peas.