By Judyrae Kruse Herald Columnist
Now that our great family crabpot handlers are coming home with some of our wonderful, incomparable Dungeness crab again, let’s revisit a spectacular way to enjoy some of this local treasure.
One recipe, in particular, stands out from all the rest — it’s the most-requested crab recipe to ever appear in the Forum, first so long ago you may not even have been old enough to read back then, let alone cook. (Meanwhile, the Forum has mailed out too many copies to even count. That’s what a hit it is around here.)
In this case, this particular thing is a whiskied crab soup from Chandler’s Crabhouse in Seattle, and it dates back to the days when the chef, Brian Poor, shared it with us.
One thing, just so you know from the get-go, there’s nothing tricky about this restaurant recipe — but whether you are using store-bought or just-caught crab, you must have the crab shells.
And another thing — this recipe works best for me, and maybe you, too — as a two-day project. Crack the crab, package and refrigerate, then set the shells aside momentarily, make the stock, cool and refrigerate. The next day, you can get on with the finish for the soup.
Let’s get cracking:
Chandler’s Crabhouse whiskied crab soup
1whole Dungeness crab, about 2 to 2 1/2 pounds
1quart crab stock (recipe follows)
1/2cup plus 2 tablespoons butter, divided
3cups whipping cream
Juice of 1 lemon
Dash liquid hot-pepper seasoning
1/4teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
1/4teaspoon ground white pepper
1tablespoon dry sherry
Salt to taste
Clean crab and remove meat from shells, reserving shells. Wrap meat and refrigerate. Use shells to prepare crab stock.
To prepare soup, in large, heavy saucepan, make a roux by melting 1/2 cup butter over medium heat. When the foam subsides, add flour all at once. Stirring constantly, reduce heat to low and cook, stirring, until mixture is blond colored, about 5 minutes.
Add crab stock, a cup at a time, whisking thoroughly after each addition. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes, skimming frequently. Add whipping cream, lemon juice, pepper seasoning, Worcestershire, Old Bay seasoning and white pepper, bring back to simmer and cook 10 minutes.
Add whiskey, sherry, remaining 2 tablespoons butter and reserved crab meat and cook 1 minute to heat through. Season with salt and ladle into bowls.
Makes 6 to 8 servings.
2tablespoons olive oil
Shells from 1 Dungeness crab
1/4cup peeled, chopped carrot
1/2cup peeled, chopped onion
1/4cup chopped celery
1/4cup brandy or cognac
1quart cold water
2cloves unpeeled garlic, crushed
1teaspoon dried tarragon
4tablespoons tomato paste
In heavy stockpot, heat olive oil; add crab shells, carrot, onion and celery and brown lightly. Add brandy and ignite. When flames have expired, add water, garlic, bay leaf, tarragon and tomato paste. Bring stock to low simmer and cook 2 to 3 hours, occasionally skimming off any scum that rises to the surface. Remove from heat and strain mixture through a fine sieve. Refrigerate until ready to use.
The next Forum will appear in Friday’s comics pages.