Excerpt from Pork Chops & Applesauce: A Collection of Recipes and Reflections
“I’d never bought a live crab before.” Kathy told me. “The crabber instructed me on how to cook them and I felt especially adventurous that day. So, I bought 4 of the bug-eyed, prehistoric looking creatures at an unbelievable low price of $1 each. It sounded easy enough, just drop the crab into a pot of rapidly boiling water and simmer it until its shell turns red.”
“Have you ever had to chase a crab around your kitchen? Or worse yet, have you ever been chased around your own kitchen by a crab?” She asked. “Well, I discovered the hard way that a crab needs to be dropped into the boiling water on its back. When I dropped the first crab into the pot face down, it quickly climbed back up the side of the pot, landed on the floor and, clacking its pincers, chased me screaming across the kitchen to the safety of a nearby bedroom.” Kathy howled with laughter as she remembered the incident.
“When I finally got the nerve to leave the bedroom, I chased him around the kitchen, grabbed the partially scalded cantankerous crab and quickly dropped him into the pot…on his back. Victory was mine!” She gallantly announced. “Without doubt, it was well worth the skirmish to get fresh crab meat and at such a reasonable price,” she added. “However, I think that kind of market low price is gone forever!”
Inexpensive crab meat is a price of the past. These days crab is gonna cost you. But for crab meat lovers the following Crab Soup with Shell Pasta is oh-so worth it!
Crab Soup with Shell Pasta
1/4 cup onion, chopped
1/4 cup green bell pepper or green onions, chopped
1/4 cup celery, diced
1 to 2 tablespoons margarine or butter
3 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 cup ripe tomato, peeled and crushed
1/4 to 1/2 cup tiny pasta shells
1 tablespoon parsley, snipped
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
6 to 8 ounces crab meat, shelled with cartilage removed
In a large saucepan, saute onion, green bell pepper and celery in margarine until tender but not brown. Add broth, tomatoes, tiny pasta shells, parsley, salt and pepper; bring to boiling. Cover and reduce heat; simmer for 30 minutes. Add crab meat and simmer 5 minutes longer. Serve immediately. Yield: 6 to 8 servings
This recipe originates from the kitchen of Cheryl Burke, Kent, Washington. Cheryl shared this crab soup recipe with me many years ago when she and her husband, Dan, hosted their annual Kent Fire Fighters’ Christmas dinner. Since then I’ve been making it every holiday season for either Christmas or New Year’s Eve dinner. It makes a satisfying and delectable main dish when accompanied with a dinner salad, fresh sourdough bread and chilled white wine. Crab Soup with Shell Pasta gets a double thumbs-up from me as it’s incredibly simple to prepare, yet it tastes gourmet! Note: Add 3/4 teaspoon low-salt Cajun spice to give the soup an added zest.