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Entries in Cream of Crab and Corn Soup (1)

Friday
Jun212013

Cream of Crab and Corn Soup

Otherwise known as she-crab soup, I found this recipe in a book titled “Crazy for Crab” by Fred Thompson.  I did some adaptations, replacing celery for the onion, a splash of hot sauce, and fresh corn off the cob.  This soup, as near as I have been able to replicate it, was always on the menu at The American Café in Washington, DC.  It was probably the first crab anything someone made me try, and I have been on a path to try to replicate it since the 80’s.  It’s as close as my memory will allow.  I actually like to make this soup a couple of hours in advance, allow it to cool, and then heat it up again, so the crab flavor has a chance to develop in the soup.

Ingredients

1 stick unsalted butter
½ cup all-purpose flour
3 stalks celery, finely diced
5 cups half-and-half
2 cups heavy cream
½ teaspoon ground mace
½ cup good quality dry (fino), or medium (amontillado) sherry
3 ears fresh corn on the cob
Salt and pepper
Dash hot sauce
1 lb fresh picked lump or backfin crabmeat (not the kind in the can, the kind in the plastic container at your fish market)
2 hard-boiled large egg yolks, smashed with a fork

  • In a large sauce pan (4 quarts), melt the butter.  When it starts to foam, add the celery and sauté until the celery is sweated (starting to turn translucent).
  • Add the flour and whisk together for 2 minutes to ensure the flour cooks
  • Add the half-and-half and the cream, and slowly bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until thickened.
  • Add the sherry; simmer another 2 minutes until the alcohol is cooked off, then season with the salt, pepper, mace and the hot sauce to taste.
  • In the meantime, shuck the ears of corn, and place the cobs, one at a time, in a tall bowl.  With a sharp paring knife, cut the kernels off the cobs.  (If you use a wider bowl, you will have to clean up the mess when the kernels jump off the cob and spatter everywhere.)
  • Using a box grater, scrape each of the cobs against the largest holes, turning the cobs all round, until the liquid is released from the cobs.  Scrape all of this and any other solids into the bowl with the kernels.
  • When the soup is thickened, add the crab meat and the corn, and heat through.   Ladle out the soup, and finish with a ½ teaspoon full of the hard-boiled egg yolk.