We had so much fun during the Passaggio Passionista Wine, Food, and Friends Get Together, we are planning another!!! Take a look at what The Sassy Kitchen might be cooking for us… “YUM” – and what a great recipe for Valentine’s Day!!! Enjoy!
Here in the bay area, it is Dungeness Crab Season. This makes me very happy. 🙂
A few days ago I had the pleasure of attending one of my best friends 50th birthday party. The part was a surprise and we were all asked to bring something yummy. I had an hour drive so I needed something that would transport well, reheat in a crock pot and still be delicious.
For me, there was an easy answer. Dungeness Crab Bisque!!!
I had never made it so I searched recipes, read reviews and chose one. Of course then I changed it.
This soup can be prepared in a couple of hours if you are using live crab and in under an hour if using shelled crab meat.
Are you ready?
You will need
2 Dungeness Crab (approx 2 pounds each)
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Medium Carrot, Chopped
1 Stalk Celery, Chopped
1 Medium to Large Tomato, Chopped
3 Cloves Garlic, Chopped
3 Medium Shallots, Chopped
2 Springs Fresh Tarragon Leaves, Chopped
2 to 3 Tbsp Cognac (Brandy)
1/3 Cup All Purpose Flour
1 Cup Passaggio Unoaked Chardonnay
1 Tbsp Tomato Paste
5 Cups Crab Boiling Water (you can use stock or water )
1/2 Dried Bay Leaf (or 1 small – you want a subtle flavor)
2 Sprigs Thyme Leaves
1 Cup Heavy Cream
2 Tbsp Butter
Parsley or Chives (optional)
Long Matches – I’m adding this because it’s important for lighting the Cognac
My recipe is based on one made by Wolfgang Puck. I loved it but it was too thin for me so I made it a little thicker. I also precooked the crab in my recipe. I have no problem putting live crabs into boiling water, I can’t bring myself to cut them in half while they are still trying to pinch me. It’s just one of those weird things. (I’m the same with lobster. Ok killing it one way but not another – weird but true) The original recipe was also doubled. It makes a lot and for Valentine’s day, this could be the perfect “Dinner for Two”.
Start by filling a large stock pot with water and bringing to a boil. Add crab ( I had to do them one at a time). Bring back to a boil, cover and turn off burner. Leave the crab in the pot for 10 minutes. They will not be fully cooked. Move them to a sink or large bowl full of cold or ice water to stop the cooking.
Reserve the boiling water. I only have one stock pot that large so I poured the water into a large bowl.
When the crab is cool enough to handle, pull of the claws and legs and cut the body in half. Pull off the top shell and toss it. (You can keep and freeze it for stock) Clean out the gills. You really don’t want those getting mixed up in your soup.
Add the Olive Oil to stock pot over medium heat. Add the crab legs and bodies. Saute for about 10 minutes. This is bringing the flavor to what will be your soup base. (and it will finish the cooking of the crab) Remove the legs in about 5 minutes, keep stirring and turning over the bodies and claws. Pull out of the pot and set aside.
Add the tomato, carrot, celery, shallot, garlic, tarragon to the pot. Cook for 15 minutes.
Add the cognac and light it using a long “fireplace” match.
Once the flames die out, sprinkle the vegetable mixture with the flour and stir until well coated.
THEN add that delicious Passaggio Unoaked Chardonnay (that you’re probably already sipping)
Add slowly while using it to de-glaze the pan and loosen the floured vegetable mix.
Now add the tomato paste, crab boil water, the bay leaf, thyme, a little salt, pepper and a dash of cayenne.
NOW add the crab bodies again. Not the legs or claws, just the body pieces.
Bring up to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.
Pull out the crab and set aside.
With either an immersion blender or a standard blender, blend the soup.
Reduce heat to low. Keep the soup warm but do not boil. Taste and adjust salt, pepper and cayenne as desired.
In a small sauce pan add the cream and butter. Reduce by about 1/2 (less is fine, it still works well)
SLOWLY add the cream to the soup. DO NOT BOIL.
Still well to blend.
Taste and adjust seasoning.
Now it’s time to get back to that crab. Crack and clean the crab. (I did the claws and legs while the soup was simmering and then the bodies as soon as they were cool enough to handle)
To serve, ladle soup into bowls and add the crab meat. Top with chives or parsley if desired.
Serve with Passaggio Unoaked Chardonnay.
The Sassy Kitchen