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Mirliton Crab Bisque

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Joined: 21 February 2012
Location: Kentucky
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    Posted: 01 November 2015 at 09:07
Talking about how chefs, when sharing recipes, often do not take into consideration that cooking at home is not the same as cooking in a restaurant, Mitchell Davis, author of Kitchen Sense, recalls “another recipe that had you strain a soup twice through a chinois. This sort of excess use of equipment and refinement is a hallmark of chef recipes. When we eat at home, the sop can be a little lumpy.”

I had reason to recall his words when searching for a soup made with mirliton. One thing to emerge was that mirliton and seafood are natural pairings. We saw that, for instance, with the recipe I posted for shrimp-stuffed chayote. Over and over again those pairings---mirliton and shrimp, mirliton and crab, mirliton and crayfish---come up in a recipe search.

The following is a recipe I seriously adapted from Chef Ryan Hughes, from the Café Degas in New Orleans. In it, he takes us about halfway through and then says to strain the soup into a clean pot, and continue from there.

Discarding the Trinity solids certainly makes a more elegant soup. But it just as certainly isn’t necessary. Personally, I like having those veggies. And the idea of dirtying two pots leaves me cold.

It’s true, too, that a good chef will have all the dice exactly the same size. But for the home cook, there’s no need to be quite that obsessive.

All that aside, this is a great tasting soup, ideal as either a starter or main course.


2 mirlitons, peeled, cut in ¼” dice     1 carrot, ¼” dice
½ med onion, ¼” dice     Small rib celery, 1/4” dice
¼ lb (one stick) butter     ¼ lb flour
1 quart crab or fish stock     1 cup Sauterne or Riesling
1 tsp liquid crab boil     1 bay leaf
1 ½ pints heavy cream     ½ lb lump or claw crab meat
1 tsp salt     ½ tsp white pepper
Chopped parsley & paprika for garnish

Melt butt4er and stir in flour. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring. Add celery, carrots and onions and cook another five minutes. Whisk in wine. Add stock, bring to boil, and simmer over low heat 15 minutes.

Add cream, mirliton and bay leaf, and cook until mirliton is barely tender, 20-30 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, and crab boil.

Dish the bisque into individual bowls. Add crab meat. Garnish with chopped parsley, paprika, and, if desired, a little fresh-squeezed lemon juice.

But we hae meat and we can eat
And sae the Lord be thanket
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