This isn’t a fancy meal by any means but I’ve been in a seafood mood lately. And anybody who knows me, knows I LOVE comfort foods. And this is certainly that, especially on a cold winter day.
The crab bisque is much simpler than it sounds. First make a roux. Instead of making a cajun or even a creole style roux, you only want to lightly brown the mixture. Of course, the trick once again is still not to burn the roux or it’ll all just taste bad.
I also sauteed carrots and onions in butter, added them to the roux and slowly stirred in chicken broth. Like any good soup, you want to raise the temperature until it boils and then reduce the heat to low and cover, letting it simmer. If you want to reduce the liquid, you can but at this point, it’s not going to be as creamy as you’d expect because, well, the heavy cream hasn’t been added yet. It’s still somewhat brothy although the roux helps thicken it up just a bit.
Once I allowed the basic flavors and the soup base to stew, I added some sherry cooking wine, heavy cream some lemon juice, a little bit of Asian fish sauce and some spices (including and especially my favorite pre-made seafood spice mixture: Old Bay). I let that simmer for a while longer and when It’s almost ready to serve, I add the crab meat to the pot.
The chips are something I’ve tried time and again and haven’t managed to get them quite right. I’ve learned that frying them in medium heat is the best. The trick also to not overload the oil with too many chips at once and to make sure that you get the thinnest slice possible on the potato. For that, I used a cheese slicer. I’m still not satisfied completely with that and would recommend a deli slicer if you have one put on an extremely thin setting. But most of us don’t have one at home, so a handheld cheese slice will do just fine.
Once fried, the chips were seasoned with a combination of smoked sea salt and Old Bay and the grease allowed to drain.
The salad was equally simple. Fresh greens mixed with tiny salad shrimp and carrots. The dressing was a homemade concoction of canola, white vinegar, fish sauce and Old Bay seasoning with just a hint of lemon juice. And voila! It was delicioso.
As much as I loved making all this, it still didn’t quell my appetite for seafood. I’m thinking some seafood po’ boys and fried okra are on the horizon. Stay tuned for that. In the meantime, enjoy and bon appetit (because bisque is French).