The weather is chilly and wet but we’re smack in the middle of prime dungeness crab season. So a perfect time to whip up a pot of fresh (local) crab bisque. This recipe is easy and fast if you use pre-cooked and picked crab meat, or save a little dough and pick up a few whole cooked crabs in our seafood department and sit down with the kids and pick the meat yourself. To save time buy some premade seafood or clam stock. Or save all those crab shells and make your own seafood stock (recipe below.)
- 2 tablespoons unsalted Tillamook butter
- ⅓ cup finely chopped shallots
- 1 quart (4 cups) seafood stock
- 1 cup uncooked white rice
- ¾ cup white wine
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 16 ounces local dungeness crab meat, divided
- 1¼ cups heavy cream
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce of your choice
- Melt the butter in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Add the shallots and saute until they are soft, then add the stock, rice, wine and tomato paste, turn the heat up to medium-high and bring to a simmer. After the stock is simmering, turn the heat to medium-low for 25 minutes or until rice is tender.
- Stir two-thirds of the crab meat into the soup, then blend it with an immersion blender or in a counter top blender (work in small batches and be careful of the hot liquid.) Puree until smooth. Return the pureed soup to the saucepan and place over medium-low heat.
- Stir in the remaining crab meat, cream, salt and cayenne pepper. Heat until the cream and crab meat are warmed.
Seafood Stock Recipe
4-6 cups crab shells
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 large yellow onion, sliced or chopped
1 carrot, roughly sliced or chopped
1 celery stalk, roughly sliced or chopped
2 Tbsp tomato paste
2 sprigs of thyme
Several sprigs parsley
1 bay leaf
10-15 whole peppercorns
2 teaspoons salt
Put the crab shells in a large stock pot and cover with an inch of water. Put the heat on medium high and slowly heat up the water. When you see little bubbles of air starting to rise to the surface, lower the heat to medium. Do not let the water boil!
As foam develops on the surface of the water, skim it away with a large spoon. Keep skimming off the foam every so often, keeping heat just below a simmer, for about an hour.
Once the stock is no making generating foam, add all the other ingredients except salt. Increase the heat to return the stock to a low simmer for 30 minutes. Add salt and remove from heat.
Strain off using a large, fine mesh strainer or colander placed over a large bowl or another pot. Pour the stock through the strainer to strain. Discard the solids.
Makes 2-3 quarts. Reserve 4 cups for the crab bisque, refrigerate or freeze the rest.