Crab Bisque with Sherry

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Recipes are back – and this bowl of velvety goodness is ready in less than 30 minutes!! You may have noticed that I had gone radio silent, but since mid summer I’ve been in Techno-Hell. I knew I was in trouble in July when I heard my cell phone buzzing and read the message “DELETING”…  Six days later, my computer was hacked and I lost several blog posts which were in progress, including homemade tomato sauce, pickles and making cauliflower breadsticks among others. ( I had just spent three weeks picking everything in my garden and having fun with my canner.)

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Then my cell phone provider forced an update which torched my new phone and the two subsequent phone(s) wiped themselves clean three times; no photos, no contacts and no apps, just empty phones.  As a result, Goodmotherdiet has been on a sort of forced ‘vacation’ while I worked on rebuilding my  contacts and recreating some of the lost recipes. More soon…

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I created this recipe for Crab Bisque this summer while I was in Maine. (Yes, it was one that was deleted) My friend, Kerry, opened a bottle of chardonnay that had caramelized and she asked me to come up with a recipe to use it up.  I thought the ‘aged’ wine tasted quite a bit like sherry, so I developed this recipe for Crab Bisque with Sherry, but this might be a good time to use a wine you have that has gone over the top. (Just taste it first).  I also had the further restriction that my husband dislikes food made with heavy cream, so I used a combination of coconut milk and fish stock with surprisingly good results. As a bonus, coconut milk is highly nutritious and rich in fiber, vitamins C, E, B1, B3, B5 and B6 and minerals including iron, selenium, sodium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorous. Unlike cow’s milk, coconut milk is lactose free and dairy free which is a great alternative. Best of all, this recipe is ready in less than 30 minutes but only gets better as it sits and the flavors meld.  It’s also good the next day if you are lucky enough to have leftovers.

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Tips:  Bisques are known for their rich, creamy and smooth texture, so I pureed the shallots in my food processor before sauteeing.  If you prefer a chunkier soup, skip this step and mince or chop the shallots with a sharp knife. Fresh crabmeat is always wonderful, however, if you can’t find it frozen or refrigerated lump crabmeat is a decent option for soup and it is much easier than cracking and deshelling fresh crab.

Old Bay is a ubiquitous seasoning, especially in the South.  It is readily available in most supermarkets, however, if you don’t have it in your pantry, try substituting celery salt, red and black pepper and paprika.

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CRAB BISQUE WITH SHERRY

  • 3 Tbsn butter or vegan butter
  • 3 large shallots, minced
  • 3 Tbsn flour or potato starch (optional thickener)
  • 4 cups fish, clam or veggie stock (2 cans)
  • 2 cans regular coconut milk
  • 1 tsp Old Bay spice
  • 1 lb. fresh or frozen lump crabmeat
  • 1⁄2 cup dry sherry (plus more for drizzling)
  • parsley (for garnish)

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  • Puree shallots until fine (for a smooth soup)

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  • In a large soup pot over medium heat, melt the butter and saute the shallots until translucent, 2 to 3 minutes.

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  • Stir in flour until smooth but don’t let it burn

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  • Pour in the stock, coconut milk and Old Bay seasoning and bring to a simmer.

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  • Reduce the heat to low and stir in the crabmeat and the sherry. Cook until heated through, about 5 minutes. (Don’t let it boil) Taste and add salt and pepper to taste.

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  • Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with a sprinkle of Old Bay, parsley and a drizzle of sherry . Serve immediately.

Crab Bisque with Sherry

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

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  • 3 Tbsn butter or vegan butter
  • 3 large shallots, minced
  • 3 Tbsn flour or potato starch (optional)
  • 5 cups fish, clam or veggie stock
  • 2 cans regular coconut milk
  • 1 tsp Old Bay spice
  • 1 lb. fresh or frozen lump crabmeat
  • 1⁄2 cup dry sherry (plus more for drizzling)
  • parsley (for garnish)

 

  1. Puree shallots until fine (for a smooth soup)
  2. In a large soup pot over medium heat, melt the butter and saute the shallots until translucent, 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Stir in flour until smooth but don’t let it burn
  4. Pour in the stock, coconut milk and Old Bay seasoning and bring to a simmer.
  5. Reduce the heat to low and stir in the crabmeat and the sherry. Cook until heated through, about 5 minutes. (Don’t let it boil)
  6. Taste and add salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with a sprinkle of Old Bay, parsley and a drizzle of sherry . Serve immediately.

Wheatless Wednesday – Singapore Chili Crab

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Twenty Five years ago, today, at 8:39pm, we welcomed our first child into the world, an entire month early.  What a Christmas miracle!  Little did we know how our lives were about to change.  Now he is a grown man, college graduate and out in the working world. For this special “25 on the 25th” birthday/Christmas dinner I want to serve a memorable feast worthy of the occasion.  I have made Singapore Crab one time before and it was really tasty, a bit messy but fun to eat – a real crowd pleaser.  It sounds perfect! Traditionally, Singapore Chili Crab is made with live crab but that is not my style.  You can buy crab already cracked and cleaned which will save some time (and mess) but it’s not that difficult to do yourself.  I have included directions below.  I couldn’t find red chili peppers since they are out of season, so I used chili pepper paste.  If you are using fresh chili peppers, make sure you wear gloves to protect your hands from the chili oil, which is almost impossible to remove from your skin.  Singapore Chili Crab is a pretty spicy dish, so you may need to cut down on the chili peppers or use a less hot variety.  Serve over rice or rice noodles and pair with a tossed green salad to offset the heat. Merry Christmas!

Singapore Chili CrabMe and Eric 25th

 Singapore Chili Crab

Serves 4-6

2 whole Dungeness crab (cooked)

¾ cup ketchup

2 cups water

¼ cup cornstarch

1 Tbsn soy sauce

¾ cup vegetable oil

14 cloves garlic, minced

½  cup minced shallots

20 red chili peppers, minced with seeds (or chili pepper paste)

2 tsp lemon juice

2 eggs, beaten

6-8 scallions, minced

Crack and clean the crab. Make sure you make several cracks in each leg to allow the sauce to get inside.  Directions below.

  • In a large bowl, mix the ketchup, water, cornstarch and soy sauce.
  • Heat a pan (large enough to fit the crab) and saute the garlic and shallots in the oil for a few minutes.  Add chili peppers and saute for a few more minutes.  Pour sauce mixture into the pan and stir to combine.
  • Add the crab and mix to evenly coat.  Cover and let simmer until the crab is heated through.
  • Remove cover and add the lemon juice.  Stir in the beaten egg.  Sprinkle with scallions to serve.

CRACKING AND CLEANING A CRAB

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  • Place the cooked crab on a cutting board on its back. Hold the body in one hand and gently twist each of the legs and claws off with the other.  Set them aside.
  • Remove the tail flap and both flaps near the eyes.  Discard.
  • Pull off the back shell and remove the ‘dead man’, the spongy gills and the orange ‘skin’.
  • Rinse the body then cut in quarters.
  • Using a metal or wooden meat tenderizer, give several hammers to each leg, enough to crack the shell and allow access to the meat.

Wheatless Wednesday – Crab Quinoa Tower

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Crab season is here!  I had my first last week and it was sweet and delicious. It is less expensive and fresher to crack and clean your crab at home, however, if you don’t mind paying a bit extra, or you are in a rush for time, it can be nice to have it done at the market.  I don’t mind doing it myself and have included directions below.

I am excited to incorporate another grain into this menu that have never made at home before, quinoa.  As is my custom with new things, I googled quinoa and was impressed by what I found and sorry I haven’t made it before.  The Incas, who believed Quinoa to be sacred, called it “chisaya mama” or “mother of all grains”.  It is increasingly popular for its high protein content, dietary fiber and minerals; phosphorous, magnesium and iron.  It’s also a source of calcium, so good for vegans and those lactose intolerant. As a bonus it is gluten free.  For all those reasons, quinoa is considered a superfood. (www.Wikipedia.com) I used Rainbow quinoa but any kind will work just fine.

One note of warning, this recipe calls for an empty can for forming the tower.  Mine got recycled tonight so I had to open a new can.  Make sure your can has rims on both the top and bottom so the can opener has something to grab on to.  My salad tonight was only going to have only mixed greens and arugula but ended up with a few garbanzo beans and mandarin oranges since I had to open both cans to make my tower.

FRESH CRAB QUINOA TOWER

Serves 4

Ingredients:

1 cup quinoa

2 cups vegetable broth

1 Tbsn olive oil

1 large ripe tomato, sliced into rounds

1-2 ripe but firm avocados, halved lengthwise, seeded, peeled and sliced horizontally

3 scallions, thinly sliced

1Tbsn parsley, minced

1-2 fresh, cooked crab, cracked, cleaned with meat removed (reserve claws) *Instructions follow

8 ounces mixed greens

1 bulb fennel, trimmed and sliced

Lemon vinaigrette (½ cup olive oil, ¼ cup fresh lemon juice, 2 T red wine vinegar, ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon black pepper)

Directions:

  • Rinse quinoa under cold water until the water runs clear. In a 1 quart saucepan, saute quinoa in olive oil until slightly toasted, about 5 minutes.  Add broth and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover until liquid is absorbed and germ has spiraled out, about 20 minutes. Let cool.
  • Prepare vinaigrette or use your favorite.  Put ingredients in a small container and whisk together or shake until combined.
  • Remove crabmeat from shells, retaining claws for garnish, and pull meat apart leaving large chunks.  1 crab will serve 4 with moderate proportions/2 crabs generously. Combine in a bowl with 3 or 4 Tablespoons vinaigrette, scallions and parsley.
  • Remove both ends from an empty food can (regular soup size) to make a hollow cylinder.  Wash and dry can thoroughly.  Place can in the center of one of the serving plates.  Spoon in one fourth of the couscous mixture and gently press down with the back of the spoon.
  • Top couscous with one slice of tomato, then a quarter of the avocado, pressing with spoon after each layer.  We love avocado so would use ½ half for each serving, however you can adjust the quantity to your liking. Top the avocado with a quarter of the crab mixture. While pressing on the crab mixture with back of spoon, slowly lift off can. Repeat to make three more plates. Top with a crab claw.
  • Toss greens and fennel with remaining vinaigrette and serve with crab towers.

CRACKING AND CLEANING A CRAB

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  • Place the cooked crab on a cutting board on its back. Hold the body in one hand and gently twist each of the legs and claws off with the other.  Set them aside

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  • Remove the tail flap and both flaps near the eyes.  Discard.

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  • Pull off the back shell and remove the ‘dead man’, the spongy gills and the orange ‘skin’.
  • Rinse the body then cut in quarters.

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  • Using a metal or wooden meat tenderizer, give several hammers to each leg, enough to crack the shell and allow access to the meat.

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