Coupeville and Crab Chowder - a recipe for a delicious weekend.
The trip to Coupeville is quick - whether by car, boat, ferry, or plane - the scenic views are breathtaking. What better way to celebrate the fourth of July than with toes in the sand, life on the dock, and a great wine in hand. Sadly, we missed the pouring of DeLille Cellars and O’wines this weekend in Roche Harbor. There in spirit, we ceremoniously toasted our contributor cellars from a dock farther south in Coupeville, Washington.
Quintessentially, quaint – Coupeville is everything any twenty-something in the late-nineties would remember from Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidmans' “blockbuster,” Practical Magic. The scene was in fact, charming and perfectly Americana.
Despite living near a city where cupcakes have become a “fast food” of sorts, I was awed (surprised!) to find such an exquisite case of delicate cakes, which delighted my morning espresso.
This one-stoplight town is as easily enjoyed by boat, as it is by land. Crab is in no short supply off Coupevilles' shores, and once we found our groove, pulled pot after pot filled with the creepy crustaceans.
Crab is a treat anyway you serve it. We enjoy crab often, and are spoiled by it while in Alaska throughout the Summer. Finding new and creative ways to use the sweet meat found inside a Dungeness shell most often results in a delicious product. Be it homemade pasta, atop a salad, wasabi cake, and more - it is hard to go wrong using fresh food.
Here is a tried and true favorite crab creation. Originally brought to us by Schwartz Bros. and Chandler's restaurant, we have enjoyed this recipe for years. *I should note I have had this recipe for some time now, and am not sure that it is exactly as Chandler's would have it.
Chandler's Whiskey Crab Chowder
We enjoy this robust chowder during the Summer months while in Alaska. A perfect seasonal treat, for a dreary day or late meal. Serve with a fresh rustic loaf, or grilled bread.
- 1 whole Dungeness crab (about 2½ pounds)
- 1 quart crab stock (recipe follows)
- ½ cup plus 2 Tbsp butter, divided
- ¾ cup flour
- 3 cups whipping cream
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Dash liquid hot-pepper sauce
- 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- ¼ tsp Old Bay seasoning
- ¼ tsp ground white pepper
- 2 tsp whiskey
- 1 Tbsp dry sherry
- Salt, to taste Method follows:
- Clean crab and remove meat from shells, reserving shells. Wrap meat and refrigerate. Use shells to prepare crab stock.
- To prepare soup: In large heavy saucepan, make a roux by melting ½ cup butter over medium heat. When the foam subsides, add flour all at once. Stirring constantly, reduce heat to low and cook, stirring, until mixture is blond colored, about 5 minutes. Add crab stock, a cup at a time, whisking thoroughly after each addition. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes, skimming frequently.
- Add whipping cream, lemon juice, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, Old Bay seasoning and white pepper; bring back to a simmer and cook 10 minutes. Add whiskey, sherry, remaining 2 tablespoons butter and reserved crab meat, and cook 1 minute to heat through. Season with salt and ladle into bowls.Makes 6 to 8 servings
- CRAB STOCK
- • 2 Tbsp olive oil • Shells from 1 Dungeness crab • ¼ cup peeled, chopped carrot • ½ cup peeled, chopped onion • ¼ cup chopped celery • ¼ cup brandy or cognac • 1 quart cold water • 2 cloves unpeeled garlic, crushed • 1 bay leaf • 1 tsp dried tarragon • 4 Tbsp tomato paste