Dungeness Crab in Phyllo Bundles

Dungeness Crab in Phyllo Bundles

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  • 1 package phyllo dough
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 pound Dungeness crab meat
  • 4 ounces Neufchâtel cheese, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Melted butter or olive oil, as necessary
  • 1 bunch scallions, green tops only, sliced into 1/8-inch ribbons


Thaw phyllo dough in the refrigerator overnight, not on the countertop. Sauté scallions briefly in butter over medium heat. Add wine, lemon juice and crab. Continue cooking gently until all the liquid has evaporated. Combine with cheese in a small bowl and set aside.

Preheat oven to 350° F. Unfold phyllo dough and keep covered with a damp towel to prevent it from drying out. Layer three sheets of dough on a clean, dry work surface, brushing with butter or spraying with olive oil between each layer. Cut the dough into 12 squares (or more or less, for desired size).

Place a spoonful of crab mixture in the center of each square. Gather the edges of the dough and twist gently to form a “purse.” If necessary, tie each bundle very loosely with a piece of kitchen twine (remember to remove it before serving). Place on a baking sheet, brush with butter or spray lightly with olive oil and cover with foil. Repeat with remaining crab. At this point, they can be refrigerated, or even frozen, to use later. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until golden brown.

While bundles bake, bring a small saucepan of water to a boil. Fill a bowl with ice water and set aside. Blanch the scallions very briefly (a few seconds), drain and immediately immerse in the ice water. (This step can be done in advance.) Dry them and tie a scallion around the neck of each phyllo bundle. Serve immediately.

Special notes:

Variations: To make phyllo “turnovers,” cut layered dough lengthwise into 6 strips. Place a spoonful of crab mixture at the end of each. Fold diagonally back and forth to enclose the crab entirely in a small triangle turnover. Brush the top with butter or spray lightly with olive oil. To keep things even simpler, don’t cut the layers of dough into strips. Simply spread a strip of the crab mixture along one of the short ends and roll into a “log.” Twist the ends shut and brush with butter or spray with oil. Bake and slice.

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