Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Shrimp and Crab Bisque and Prosciutto-Wrapped Scallops

I have a confession to make.  When I get home from work, my favorite channel to tune in to is TBS.  All those reruns of Friends, Seinfeld, King of Queens and The Big Bang Theory are somehow therapeutic after the end of a long day.  I've seen them over and over, but I like the familiarity.

I also have a strange fascination with "Tainted Love Tuesday" movie nights on Lifetime.  I can't explain that one.  I'm just glad my life isn't that dramatic.

Yes, I cried when Friends ended.  Its tenth season coincided with my last year living in China, and my friends and I watched the final episodes just weeks before the end of the school year.  I bawled like a baby.

One of my favorite Seinfeld episodes is the "yada-yada-yada" episode.  Know the one I mean?

Elaine: We went out to dinner, I had the bisque, we went back to his place, yada-yada-yada... (or something to that effect...)
Jerry: You just yada-yada-d over the best part!
Elaine:  No, I mentioned the bisque.

Well, speaking of bisque... this seafood bisque really is worth talking about, so no yada-yada-ing over it.  I read that authentic French bisque, typically made from crustaceans not good enough to sell on their own, was traditionally made with even the shells, which were ground to a fine paste and added to the soup.

I didn't use the shells, but I think my own version is pretty delicious, even if it's not totally authentic.  It also came together very quickly, and I was so pleased at how creamy and rich it tasted, even though it doesn't contain any butter or cream.  I've discovered that low-fat evaporated milk is a wonderful substitute for cream in cream-based soups.  I wish I'd thought of it when I made that potato and kale soup the other day.

While I made the bisque and some Parmesan crisps (that to my disappointment, didn't actually get crispy), Jamie roasted asparagus, and wrapped bits of prosciutto around scallops to sear them at the last minute.

We finished everything with a little fresh lemon zest and juice.

Shrimp and Crab Bisque
printable recipe

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 1/4 sweet yellow onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1/4 cup fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 2 cans (12 ounces each) low-fat (2%) evaporated milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1/4 cup fresh, chopped parsley
  • 1/2 pound lump crab meat
  • 1 pound fresh or frozen raw shrimp, peeled, cleaned and thawed
  • salt and pepper
  • lemon wedges and zest

In a large stockpot, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Add the celery and onion with a pinch of salt and cook for 4-5 minutes until softened.  Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.  Sprinkle the flour into the pot, and stir to combine.  Add the white wine to deglaze the pot, and scrape up any brown bits from the bottom.  Add the chicken broth, tomato paste, skim milk and evaporated milk.  Use an immersion blender to puree the mixture until smooth.

Stir in the thyme, Old Bay, Parmesan and parsley.  Bring to a boil over medium heat, then reduce to medium low to simmer, stirring frequently, for 20 minutes.  Taste and season with salt and pepper.  Just before serving, add the crab and shrimp to the pot, and allow the shrimp to poach in the soup until cooked through, about 5 minutes.  Serve immediately, garnishing each serving with a little more fresh parsley and some lemon zest.  A spritz of lemon juice right on top is delicious.

Although the bisque is actually very light with no heavy cream or butter, it tastes rich, so serve small portions along with a salad, vegetables or other main dish.

Yields 6 servings.
WW Points Plus Value: 6 points per serving

Recipe from Curly Girl Kitchen