On the heals of another surprise Crab-load, I made a huge batch of crab bisque recently, when DG's brother sent down a bag of crabs caught just the day before. What better way to deal with a sac full of beautiful Dungeness Crab than a bubbly pot of creamy, seafood goodness! I was pleased to have this kind of problem, as I always am when its free! Considering I pay about $25 for a crab, that's "A" crab, I felt almost dirty opening up my industrial mayonnaise bucket turned ice chest, only to lose count of the number of crabs inside due to the sheer number of them! That dirty feeling was replaced by ravenous hunger and a need to crack them all open with a bucket of lemon butter and bottle of wine.
After combing the internet for a decent crab bisque recipe, I came across just one worthy recipe, which I've followed before with great success. The rest were far too complicated. I'm hoping this recipe will help a few of you with your problem of too many crabs. This makes a beautiful soup full of crab flavour that is just the right foil for fresh chunks of fresh picked crab meat, without loads of heavy cream. It's an impressive first course and can stand on its own for a weeknight meal. Best of all, despite its grandeur, this is one simple soup to make and really you just need to get your hands on just a couple crabs, not a sack-ful. Scroll down for the recipe!
While I tackled the heap of crabs in my sink in preparation for this soup, my hands numbing to the repetitive cracking and childlike messiness that endured, my thoughts easily wandered to catching our own last summer. I always meant to chronicle it here, but was unimpressed by the photos I'd taken, and well you know how summer just sort of gets away from you with the combination of carefree laziness and cram-it-all-in-ness. We had this planned for about a year and it turns out that looking forward to the big Crab Fest meant that when it was finally here, all I cared about was getting them out of the water and into my stomach rather than obsessively photographing each moment! This is something I'm constantly struggling with as a blogger, the needs of my own before the needs of my reader. Or shall I say, the needs of my stomach. As I plucked through those crab shells though I couldn't help but remember that day and thought you might like to see a little of what its like to take to the ocean and grab dinner for yourself. I won't have the chance to revisit this experience again this summer but I'm already planning Crab Fest 2011! But until then...
The great adventure all began in Prince Rupert BC, on Northern BC's (that's Canada, BTW) coast. This is a big time fishing town and of course seafood is all around. Prince Rupert is a lovely town full of history and quaint beauty. I spent 4 years of my childhood there and remember crab sandwiches as more common than peanut butter and jelly. But the story of this small town is for another time. This day was only about one little thing - crab!
When undertaking a day trip such as this one, the right "spot" it essential. This is to be our home base for a few hours, a waiting room if you will, complete with fire pit, plenty of tiny crabs, sea snails and other marine life to entertain the younger members of the party, as well as me. I do love a good beach-comb!
In order to guarantee lunch, we had to give these little critters their "Death Row Meal", if you will. We got quickly to work setting up traps. Some tasty fish heads and other nasty bits are pretty tempting don't you think?
Traps? Check! Nasty bits? Check! All set to go!