Crab Bisque and Lighthouses
I have saved the best for last. With everything New England has to offer, I have strayed a bit, focusing on the many aspects of its beauty but leaving out what this blog is all about, what I am all about, what we are all about around this block: Food.
While there, I have dined on baked sole and lobster roll among other things. I must admit I haven’t had as much seafood as I would have liked to. Seafood has not been spared from the inflation that has touched everything this year and its prices were pretty high even in a place like New England where you’d expect it to be plentiful and affordable. But maybe that should be anticipated in touristy areas. Maybe I just went to the wrong places.
Back in Orlando, I regretted not having lobster bisque. A few days after I was back I was still craving seafood. I went to the market and spotted some beautiful lobster tails. I remembered the last time I cooked lobster and all the work involved in shelling and cleaning it and shied away. I settled for crab, which in my grocery store comes steamed and shelled. That sounded like a good alternative. I went for it. I’m glad I did.
We went on a lighthouse tour in Newport. I missed the historic commentary because I preferred to stay on deck, listen to the waves, let the wind whip my hair and get a suntan while taking pictures. Newport lighthouses were impressive. Not as tall as others I’ve seen but still impressive.
Crab Bisque Recipe
2 generous servings
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup lump or/and claw crabmeat, steamed (of course, you may use lobster)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup clam juice or chicken broth
2 cups water
1 small yellow onion, halved
1 celery stalk, cut into three
1 sprig fresh thyme
4 tablespoons corn starch (or all-purpose flour)
1/2 cup water
1 cup heavy cream
Melt the butter in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the crabmeat and sauté for 2 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and season with salt and pepper. Incorporate the clam juice, water, onion, celery and thyme. Cover with a lid and cook until the soup is fragrant, 15 to 20 minutes. Discard the onion, celery and thyme.
Blend the cornstarch or all-purpose flour with 1/2 cup of water in a blender or food processor until a liquid paste is obtained. Gradually mix it into the soup, stirring constantly to prevent grains from forming and cook for another 3 to 5 minutes.
Stir in the cream and remove from heat.