Nordstrom’s Cafe Crab Bisque

Nordstrom’s Cafe Restaurant Recipe

1 to 1 1/2 pounds cooked Dungeness crab legs (see note)
2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 large white onion, chopped
2 small carrots, peeled and chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste
1 cup dry white wine
2 (8 oz.) bottles clam juice
4 cups water
1/4 cup brandy
1 cup heavy cream
1 pinch cayenne pepper or to taste
1/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt or to taste
1 cup Gazpacho Salsa (see recipe)
2 teaspoons snipped chives

Remove crabmeat from shells and place in a small bowl; cover and refrigerate.  Cut shells into small pieces with kitchen shears and set aside. In a large saucepan, melt butter over low heat; add onion, carrots and celery.  Saute, stirring frequently, until vegetables are softened, about 8 minutes. Mix in flour. Add garlic and reserved crab shells; stir until shells turn bright red, about 8 minutes.

Whisk tomato paste into wine. Add to pot; cook 5 minutes. Stir in clam juice and water. Bring to a simmer; cook 20 minutes. Strain the mixture into a clean pan, reserving the solids and shells. Using a blender, process the vegetable solids and shells. If mixture is too thick, add enough of the strained liquid to blend. (This step extracts the flavor from the shells.)

Pour into a fine-mesh sieve lined with cheesecloth and placed over a bowl. Pour brandy and cream over the solids in the sieve. Use the back of a  spoon to press down on the solids, extracting as much liquid as possible. Add the strained liquid to the crab stock in the pan. Add cayenne, Tabasco and salt; bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Cook until heated through, about 10 minutes. Add reserved crabmeat. Season to taste  with salt and additional cayenne, if desired. Ladle into warm soup bowls. Place 2 tablespoons of Gazpacho Salsa on each serving; garnish with chives. Makes 8 (1 cup) servings.

Note: Dungeness crab "clusters" (several legs attached to a meaty portion of the body) are available cooked and frozen at many grocery seafood departments. The clusters are less salty and easier to remove from the shell than king crab or snow crab. The shells are fairly soft and can easily be  processed in a blender, as the recipe requires.


Gazpacho Salsa    need recipe

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