This is a nice little way to use crabmeat in a stew on a cold day. It is based off a Basque recipe – a little French, a little Spanish – and relies on lots of crabmeat, some shallot and some fish stock. I served it in individual ramekins, topped with toasted breadcrumbs. You can make it in a pot if you’d like though. This recipe serves 4 as a light dinner or lunch.
- 1 pound crabmeat
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped celery leaves or parsley
- 4 finely chopped shallots
- 1 finely chopped celery rib
- 3 T olive oil
- 2 T flour
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 2 T brandy (optional)
- 2 cups fish or vegetable stock
- 2 T tomato paste
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 t. dried thyme
- Salt and black pepper
- Bread crumbs (optional)
- Prep Time: 10 minutesCook Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 40 minutes
Mix the crabmeat with the celery leaves and set aside
Heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat and gently cook the shallots and celery until soft, 3-4 minutes.
If you are using breadcrumbs, preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Add the flour and stir well to combine. The mix will gunk up — this is OK. Just keep stirring it around for a few minutes, until the flour turns a nice tan color.
Add the white wine and brandy if you are using it. The mix will sputter and turn into a thick liquid like gravy. If it solidifies, add a tablespoon or two of water. Bring this to a boil and let it roll for a minute or two to burn off a bit of the alcohol.
Mix the tomato paste with the fish stock.
Turn the heat up to high and add the fish stock-tomato paste mixture. Add the thyme and bay leaves. Stir well to combine. The wine-flour-veggie mix should be pretty thick, so keep stirring until everything mixed in. Bring this to a boil, turn the heat down to medium-high and let it cook down until it looks like a thick gravy.
Taste the sauce for salt, and add some if needed. Turn off the heat.
Pour a ladle at a time over the crabmeat and mix well until it looks like a thick stew. You might not need all the sauce. Add some black pepper.
Pour the stew into ramekins and top with breadcrumbs. Bake in the oven for 5-10 minutes, until the breadcrumbs are golden brown. If you are skipping the breadcrumb route, simply pour everything back into your pan and heat through before serving.