Avocado-and-crab-filled phyllo baskets - country living

Yield: 20 baskets

Measure Ingredient
¼ cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted
3 17-by 12-inch phyllo (strudel) leaves, thawed if frozen
1 medium Very ripe avocado (about 3/4 lb)
⅓ cup Sour cream
3 tablespoons Chopped, peeled, and seeded, fresh cucumber
1 tablespoon Lemon juice
1 tablespoon Chopped fresh cilantro leaves
½ teaspoon Salt
¼ teaspoon Ground cumin
¼ teaspoon Chil1 powder
¼ pounds Fresh lump crabmeat or
1 can (6 1/2-oz) crabmeat, drained
20 Fresh cilantro leaves
20 Thin slivers sweet red pepper (1/2 inch long)

These crispy baskets may be made ahead, hut the avocado-crab filling must be prepared and spooned into them at the last minute.

1. To prepare phyllo baskets, heat oven to 400'F. Brush twenty 1½-inch muffin-pan C with melted butter.

2. Unfold phyllo leaves; cover with plastic wrap, then damp towel.

(Phyllo dries out very quickly. Each time you remove a sheet, be sure to cover remaining sheets with plastic and damp towel.) 3. Remove one sheet of phyllo and brush completely with melted butter. With sharp knife, cut buttered phyllo lengthwise to make four 17- by 3-inch strips. Trim off and discard 1 inch from each end of phyllo strips. Cut each strip into five 3-inch squares, You should have 20 squares of buttered phyllo in all. Repeat with remaining phyllo.

4. Working quickly, stack 3 phyllo pieces, buttered side up, so that corners do not line up. Using pastry brush, gent ly press stacked pieces into bottom of muffin-pan C to create a basket with jagged edges.

5. Bake phyllo baskets 6 to 8 minutes or until deep golden brown.

Cool in pan on wire rack 10 minutes; transfer to air-tight container an store at room temperature until ready to use. Do not refrigerate as phyllo wil1 lose its crispness.

6. No more than 3 hours before serving, prepare avocado-crab filling: Cut avocado in half and peel; remove seed. In medium-size bowl, with fork, mash avocado pulp until almost smooth. Stir in sour cream, cucumber, lemon juice, cilantro, salt, cumin, and chil1 powder until well combined. Gently fold in crab-meat just until combined. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

7. Just before serving, spoon 1 heaping T of avocado-crab filling into each phyllo basket. Garnish top with 1 cilantro leaf and 1 red pepper sliver.

Country Living/June/90 Scanned & fixed by DP & GG

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