Dungeness Crab Bisque


Recipe courtesy of Jacquelyn Buchanan, director of culinary programs at COPIA.

Traditionally, crab bisque is made with the shell of the crab after the meat has been removed. This requires more time and a whole crab. The following simple recipe is quicker and makes less of a mess in the kitchen.

Serves 4 to 6

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
¼ cup chopped shallots
1 tablespoon tomato paste
½ cup brandy
4 cups clam juice
¼ cup long-grain white rice
12 ounces picked cooked Dungeness crab meat, divided
½ cup heavy cream
Pinch Cayenne pepper, or more to taste
Kosher salt to taste
2 tablespoons chopped chives

In a large saucepan or medium stockpot over medium-low heat, melt the butter. Add the shallots and sauté until soft, about 8 minutes. Add the tomato paste and rice and cook an additional 5 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat, stir in the brandy, then ignite it, carefully letting the alcohol burn off and the brandy reduce. When the flame goes out, add the stock and 8 ounces of the crab meat; simmer 10 minutes. Carefully transfer the mixture to a blender and puree well. Transfer the pureed mixture into a clean saucepan and stir in the cream and cayenne. Season to taste with salt and additional cayenne pepper. Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with the remaining 4 ounces of crab meat and the chopped chives.

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