Suzi's Blog

Crab and Corn Bisque

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Domaine Chandon is a Napa Valley winery now owned by a French company. The setting is both beautiful and upscale. The winery features a Michelin-starred restaurant, étoile, that naturally features seasonal, regional food. The Domaine Chandon Cookbook offers 75 of the premium recipes from this restaurant with its particularly  sparkling view.

Of all those recipes, this one is my favorite. Corn and crab seem to be one of those natural food marriages that can always be loved and almost certainly never surpassed. I know it’s summer, and it’s hot, so the idea of a warm soup may seem peculiar. But on the warmest of nights, everyone will sigh in delight at this bisque where both corn and crab flavor offer their distinct notes.

If you make this dish, consider doing it a day ahead if you want the crab flavor to evolve even more. I used canned crab from my good, local market. It seemed to need that extra day for its full flavor to emerge.

Since this recipe comes from a sparkling wine producer, the obvious pairing here is a glass a sparkling wine. And then? Perhaps a lamb chop and potato gratin. This bisque is strikingly elegant and deserves matching dishes of exceptional quality. And where would you find a good gratin recipe? Why Domaine Chandon has a three-cheese potato gratin, soon to be tested by Suzi and blogged by me.

 

Corn and Crab Bisque

Yield: serves 6

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup fresh chervil leaves, plus 2 tablespoons
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus 2tablespoons
  • 1 leak, white part only, cut into rounds ¼ inch thick, rinsed and drained thoroughly
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ jalapeno chile, seeded and minced
  • 2 medium white potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1 bottle clam juice
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • Salt
  • 4 ears fresh corn, husks and silks removed
  • 1 pound fresh Dungeness or other lump crabmeat, picker over for shell fragments and cartilage
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt

 

Preparation:

In a small sauté pan or frying pan over medium-low heat, combine the1/2 cup chervil leaves with the 1/2 cup olive oil and cook, stirring occasionally, until the oil is hot and small bubbles around the edges, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand at room temperature for 1 hour.  Strain the chervil-infused oil through a fine-mesh sieve and reserve. Discard the chervil.

In a soup pot, heat the 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add the leek and sauté until soft, about minutes. Stir in the onion, garlic, and jalapeno. Sauté until the onion is translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the potatoes and bell pepper and sauté for 3 minutes longer. Add the stock, clam juice, wine, and 1 teaspoon salt and stir to mix well. Raise the heat to high and bring to a boil then reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, cut the kernels from the ears of the corn. Add the corn kernels to the soup and simmer until the corn is tender, about 5 minutes. Add the crab and cook for 2 minutes to heat through. Stir in the cream and remove from the heat. Season with salt and pepper.

Ladle the bisque into warmed bowls. Swirl 1/2 to 1 teaspoon chervil oil into each serving and garnish with the 2 tablespoons of chervil leaves. Serve hot.

Source: Domaine Chandon Cookbook

Photo Credit: Canon T2i, EFS 18-55mm Macro lens, F/2.8 for 1/80th second at ISO 160.

 

 

Shrimp Bisque

Yes, it’s the same picture as the previous post. But that post only talked about the great shrimp bisque. Here’s the recipe.
This bisque is not just good. It is a head turner. It was one of the first things we made with our new Vitamix blenders. Vitamix? Every had a Jamba Juice where they have the machines that sound like wind tunnels. We have them now. To call them a blender is to call a Porsche an automobile.

There is a step below in the preparation where you do need use a blender. If you don’t have a Vitamix, then you really need to blend away and do the sieving to achieve the velvet texture this recipe deserves.

Naturally, you play with the ingredients to get more tomato flavor or heat. You can adorn the finished bisque with crème fraîche, or sour cream. But I think the first time out, you want to just sample the incredible purity of the bisque flavor. It’s certain to become a favorite of yours. It’s a great for the cold weather that has finally arrived, and its elegance would be perfect for a holiday party.

Shrimp Bisque

Yield: 8 cups, generous for 8 people

Ingredients:

• 1¼ pounds medium shrimp, shelled and deveined, shell reserved
• ½ stick unsalted butter
• ½ cup dry white wine
• 2 quarts water
• 1 bay leaf
• 3 carrots, chopped
• 2 celery ribs, chopped
• 1 medium onion, chopped
• 2 tablespoons long-grain rice
• 2 tablespoons tomato paste
• ¾ teaspoon cayenne pepper
• 2 teaspoon salt
• ⅓ cup heavy whipping cream
• Fresh lemon juice
• Chopped fresh chives

Preparation:

Cook shrimp shells in 1 tablespoon butter in a large stock pot over moderately high heat, stirring frequently, until golden. Add white wine and boil, stirring frequently, until most of liquid is evaporated. Add water and bay leaf and simmer, uncovered, 20 minutes. Pour shrimp stock through a fine sieve into a bowl, pressing on shells and then discarding them.
While stock is simmering, cook shrimp with salt to taste in 1 tablespoon butter in a large heavy pot over moderated heat, stirring frequently, until just cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a bowl. Add remaining 2 tablespoon butter to pot, then cook carrots, celery, and onion over moderate heat, stirring, until softened.
Stir in rice, tomato paste, cayenne, salt, shrimp stock, and brandy and simmer, covered, until rice is tender, about 20 minutes. Set aside 12 shrimp and stir remainder into bisque.
Purée bisque in batches in a blender, then pour through fine sieve into another pot. Stir in cream and cook over low heat until heated through, do not boil. Stir in lemon juice and salt to taste.
Cut reserved shrimp into ¼-inch dice, then use as part of garnish for bisque.

Source: Gourmet Magazine [may it rest in peace]