Crab Bisque

2 cups Crab Stock or 2 cups Quick Stock (Combine 2 cups hot water with 1 ½ tablespoons lobster or chicken soup base.)
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
2 shallots, minced
1/2 cup flour
3 cups fat free half-and-half
1 teaspoon chicken or lobster soup base
1/8 teaspoon saffron threads (4 whole threads), crumbled
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
dash dry mustard – optional
¾ to 1 pound cooked king crab meat or lump crab meat, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons dry sherry

1. Lightly spray at 2 to 4 -quart saucepan or stockpot with cooking spray and heat on medium high for 2 minutes. Add chopped onion, garlic and shallots. Reduce heat to medium and sauté vegetables until onion becomes translucent. Mix flour a tablespoon at a time into vegetables, adding small amounts of reserved stock to keep mixture from becoming too dry and/or difficult to mix.

2. Whisk remaining cup reserved stock into flour vegetable mixture. Reduce heat to medium low, gradually stir in half-and-half. Add soup base, saffron, pepper and dry mustard and continue to cook whisking constantly until thickened.

3. At this point if you desire a smooth bisque transfer mixture to a blender or food processor and puree. Return bisque to pan and continue to cook over medium low heat. For a chunky bisque skip this step and continue to step 4.

4. Add crab and sherry and continue to cook another 2 to 3 minutes until heated through. Adjust seasonings if necessary and serve.

Yield: 8 cups each at approximately 160 calories; 0.8 gram total fat; 0.1 gram saturated fat; 51 milligrams cholesterol; 16.4 grams carbohydrate; 0.5 gram dietary fiber; 14.5 grams protein; 501 milligrams sodium.

Compare to traditional recipe at 370 calories and 27 grams total fat

Quick Stock

Combine 2 cups hot water with 1 ½ tablespoons lobster or chicken soup base
Crab Stock
2 stocks celery cut into thirds
1 carrot cut into thirds
1 onion cut into fourths
3 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
2 bay leaves
4 sprigs fresh parsley
1 tablespoon Old Bay Seasoning
6 peppercorns
1 ½ to 2 pounds king crab legs (If previously cooked remove meat from legs and claws before adding to stock and set aside.)

1. Fill a 6 to 8-quart stockpot with enough water to cover legs and claws about 8 cups. Add celery, carrot, onion, garlic, bay leaves, peppercorns and salt or Old Bay Seasoning. Bring to boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer 15 minutes.

2. Remove crab from stock and set aside to cool. When cool, remove meat from claws and legs if meat was raw, coarsely chop meat and set aside. Return shells to stock and continue to simmer 1 to 2 hours. Remove shells from stock and discard.

3. Increase heat to high and allow stock to reduce to half or less. Strain stock into bowl, reserving 2 cups for Crab Bisque. Discard vegetables and freeze extra stock for future use in another recipe.

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