Friday, April 27, 2012

Weekend Crab and Artichoke Bisque

Last weekend we took my parents for a afternoon drive to  the Big Sur coastline (Stunning!). On our way back, my dad insisted that we make a quick pit stop at Pezzini's.  Pezzini's is a farm stand just off Hwy 101 between Monterey and Castroville, but it is not quite your average roadside farm stand.  Monterey County can claim fame to the artichoke, "The Official Vegetable of Monterey County - and believe me Pezzini's has every size and shape available!

So of course, we had to bring home a bag full of these beautiful spring beauties, and a new California Artichoke Recipe Book.  Now, what do make out of them?

Ah ha! Crab Bisque is on the menu for this weekend!

Step 1 - prepare the artichokes

Use large artichokes - pull off the lower outer leaves of the artichokes. Cut the stem to 1 inch or less.  I like to either steam or boil artichokes, and avoid the microwave as I am definitely not a great microwave chef.

For Boiling:
Use a deep saucepan or pot, stand the artichokes in 3 inches of water.  Cover and simmer 25-40 minutes depending on the size, or until the leaf near the center pulls out easily.

For Steaming:
Similar to boiling. Just use a rack over boiling water, cover and steam for 25-40 minutes.  This way your artichokes do not get waterlogged, and the taste is preserved better.

Now for the Crab Bisque*:

6 large prepared artichokes
6 cups of vegetable broth
2  cups cleaned crab (we like dungeness!)
1/3 cup chopped green onions
1/2 Yellow Onion - chopped and minced
2 cups heavy cream
2/3 cup flour
2 egg yolks, slightly beaten
1 pound small whole carrots - chopped small

Artichokes: Scrape meat from artichoke leaves, reserve the meat. Remove and discard fuzzy centers. Place  cooked artichoke bottoms and reserved meat from leaves in blender, process until smooth. Heat broth to boiling, then add green onions, onions, carrots, salt and pepper and cook until veggies are tender.  Add artichoke puree and crab meat. Cook five minutes.

Add cream to flour and blend; beat in egg yolks. Stir cream mixture into artichoke mixture and cook over low heat, stirring constantly until thickened.

Makes 10 to 12  servings.
*recipe adapted from the California Artichoke Recipe Book

Quite the feast!  Serve in pretty crab-themed dinnerware and now you have a party-

Don't forget the glasses for Wine!

Have a wonderful weekend!  Not sure where we're headed for our next adventure - but here's a few glimpses from last weekend along the Big Sur Coast.

We simply love this stretch of the California coast - could go every single weekend....

1 comment:

Gberger said...

YUMM! And yes, I love those chowder bowls.

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