Crab Bisque (Crema de Carramares a la Donostiarra)
 
Author:
Recipe type: Seafood
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • 4 dozen very small live crabs; well washed, and rinsed in several changes of water
  • 4 dozen tiny shrimp; peeled and cleaned
  • 3 small shallots; diced
  • 1 medium onion; sliced thin
  • 3 small carrots; diced
  • 1 medium leek (white part only); diced
  • 1 medium tomato, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 1 Cup butter
  • 1/2 Cup olive oil
  • 2/3 Cup Cognac
  • 2/3 Cup dry white wine
  • 1 1/2 Cups cream
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 17 Cups water
  • 3/4 Cup rice flour; diluted in
  • 2 Cups water
  • fresh parsley; a few sprigs
  • 1 sprig fresh tarragon
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cayenne pepper; or to taste
  • salt, to taste
Instructions
  1. Heat 1/2 cup butter with 1/2 cup olive oil in a large saucepan. Add shallots. When they take on color, add onion, carrots, and leeks. Brown vegetables lightly over moderate fire, then simmer very slowly for 30 minutes, taking care not to let the butter burn. After 15 minutes, add parsley and tarragon. After a total of 30 minutes, add the peeled, seeded, and chopped tomato and let it reduce to a pulp.
  2. Put the live crabs in a deep receptacle. Mash them to a pulp with the end of a heavy chopping board. Increase heat under vegetables. Add crab pulp.
  3. Warm 2/3 cup cognac in a separate saucepan and light it. Pour flaming cognac over crabs; let flame die down while stirring. Mix in cayenne pepper and dry white wine. Cook mixture 5 minutes with an occasional stir.
  4. Pour over it 17 cups of water. When the water is hot, add rice flour diluted in 2 cups of water. Salt to taste. Stir and let soup cook slowly 30 to 35 minutes. Remove foam from soup as it forms.
  5. Before serving, slice peeled shrimp and fry in remaining butter over moderate fire. Do not let butter brown. Strain soup. Beat yolks of the eggs in a large bowl. In another bowl, put 1 1/2 cups of cream. Blend a cup or two of strained soup with the cream, then add the mixture gradually to the egg yolks while stirring. Return the resulting mixture to the pot of soup while stirring over a low fire. Heat if necessary, but in no case allow to come to a boil. Serve in shallow bowls topped with fried shrimp.
Notes
Recipe Source: THE SPANISH COOKBOOK by Barbara Norman

Comments: The creation of Senor Candido Tojal Varela, chef of the Hotel San Sebastian, this soup won a prize in the First Gastronomic Competition of the Province of Guipuzcoa.
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