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.

 

 

One More Time: Caramelized Corn with Shallots from I Love Corn

I posted this a couple of years ago, but it’s worth a repeat. Corn is appearing everywhere now: fresh, lovely, and ready for all kinds of uses. This recipe is from a brilliant little book called I Love Corn by Lisa Skye. If you enjoy corn, you’ll find this book a treat. If you not yet a corn fan, then take a look. Try this recipe or one of the others and you’ll soon understand why people gather around that bin of freshly picked corn and examine each ear like they were about to adopt and not eat.

Lisa has gathered sixty recipes from great chefs and cookbook authors from around the country to give us chapters on:

  • Breakfast [Sweet Corn Waffles, Jalapeno Corn Muffins, …]
  • Soups [Sweet Corn Soup, Fresh Corn Gazpacho, …]
  • Starters [Corn Ceviche, Roasted Corn Wontons, …]
  • Mains [Venison with Corn Cocoa and Chipotle Relish, Corn-Poached Halibut, …]
  • Sides [Corn Pudding with Bacon and Leeks, Warm Corn Soufflés, …]
  • Sweets [Cornmeal Cake with Honey and Bananas, Strawberry Corn Pone, …]

From the time you rise until you take that last snack, you can enjoy corn. I’m a big fan of corn side dishes which can provide so much contrast and interest to a meal. And, when I see a recipe that says “caramelized” then I perk up.

I made this caramelized corn with a couple of changes. I did not have shallots, so red onions were a fine substitute. And since “caramelized” implies sweetness, I wanted some heat. So I tossed in a diced poblano with the seeds.

To serve this dish, I used the corn husks arranged in a layer on the plate. It is beautiful to see, to photograph, and to devour.

You can obviously scale this recipe up and I suggest you do. Because the next day you can:

  • Perk it up with lime juice
  • Convert the leftovers into a salsa using some tomato products
  • Sparkle up your scrambled eggs for breakfast

In short, great recipe from a fine book.

Caramelized Corn with Shallots

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 4 ears fresh corn, kernels removed, about 3 cups
  • 4 large shallots cut into ½-inch slices
  • Pinch of granulated sugar
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves plus 1 large sprig for garnish

Preparation:

In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the corn, shallots, sugar, and salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally to prevent burning, until the corn is caramelized, about 5 minutes.

Stir in the thyme and cook for 5 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper to taste. To serve, garnish with the sprig of thyme