Crab Enchiladas with Bacon and Orange Sauce

[14 Feb 2011 | By | 7 Comments]

crab enchiladas

This recipe is compliments of our cooking school, where I sometimes teach classes (I teach at a school as well as offer private cooking classes out of my home). I changed it a tiny bit. I like to think of it as enchiladas for guests. I make enchiladas all the time for my family: midweek. I toss together chicken, some salsa and bottled enchilada sauce. Roll ’em up, sprinkle with cheese and sometimes make a few special sauces and salsas to go with it.

I am a big fan of weeknight meals that everyone loves, as well as having a luxury version in my culinary toolbox—perfect for dinner guests.

Crab is a treat.

I just received a book called Crazy for Crab from Harper Press. I read the first few chapters, and am learning a thing or two about crabs. When I was in culinary school, one of my favorite classes was American Cuisine. We studied the very many different foods around our country: from each coast, deep south to the midwest. ‘Clam chowder’ and ‘BBQ sauce’ are not easily defined terms. Clam chowder—depending on your geographical location—might mean a creamy based soup or a tomato based soup. And BBQ sauces are entirely different in Kansas versus Texas.

crab claw

In this book, it talks about soft crabs and Dungeness, Rock crabs and more. I am native to the Pacific Northwest, and so in making these enchiladas, I snagged some Dungeness crab legs from my grocer. I plucked all the meat out, squeezed fresh orange juice, and produced this guest-special enchilada dish.

Crab Enchiladas
serves 6.

12 corn tortillas (small)
corn oil
bacon and orange sauce (recipe, below)
8 oz. cream cheese
1 LB crab meat
1/2 cup grated Parmesan

In skillet over medium high heat, fry tortillas one at a time, 30 – 45 seconds (total for both sides). Stack on paper towels.


Meanwhile, make sauce. Preheat oven to 375. Combine 1/2 cup bacon orange sauce with cream cheese, Parmesan and crab. Put 1/2 – 1 cup of the sauce in bottom of dish. Roll crab mix into each tortilla, lay in dish. Cover with remaining sauce, sprinkle with Parmesan. Bake 15-25 minutes until sauce is bubbling and cheese is beginning to brown.

Bacon Orange Sauce
makes 2 1/2 cups.

4 oz. bacon, diced
6 T flour
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. coriander
large pinch black pepper
1 tsp garlic
2 cups clam broth or chicken broth
1/2 cup fresh OJ
1 T orange zest

In saucepan over medium high, cook bacon until crisp. Remove bacon, add onion and garlic. Cook 5 min. until translucent. Add flour and seasonings; mix and cook for 1 minute. Whisk in broth and OJ, zest. Let come to simmer, should slightly thicken, 3-5 minutes. Stir in bacon bits. Proceed with recipe, above.

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  • Seb@ Portable Mini Fridge said (14 February 2011 at 8:43 pm):

    No chocolate mole?

  • Chef Magana said (15 February 2011 at 10:39 am):

    What a nice way to use crab! Especially from the Pac. NW – brings two cultures together beautifully. Might even be good as a breakfast!

  • Barb said (15 February 2011 at 3:43 pm):

    These look heavenly! I’ll have to see if I can find some fresh crab around here and give them a try. The bacon-orange sauce sounds particularly interesting – not a combination I would even think to combine, but sounds kind of yummy. I’d be willing to give it a try too.

  • janelle said (16 February 2011 at 1:07 pm):

    Seb: next year?

    Chef Magana: LOVE the idea of breakfast!

    Barb: In a pinch: TJ has some high quality canned crab–it’s in the cold section near the poultry…

  • Krista said (17 February 2011 at 11:26 am):

    Hi Janelle! I’m finally back from my travels and so happy to get to read your posts again. :-) These look SO delicious! I had something like this in an Italian restaurant once, with a vodka sauce. But I like yours even better. :-)

  • This Week’s Blog Roundup « Weight Loss said (20 October 2011 at 1:37 pm):

    […] enchiladas are always a favorite of mine…but with bacon and orange sauce? Mind, blown. Crab Enchiladas with Bacon and Orange Sauce (Talk of Tomatoes) Twitter: […]

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