A good friend makes Lobster Chili at Christmas; I kept thinking about using crab for a hybrid of traditional seafood stew and chili. Finally did it. —Alyce Morgan
Crushed red pepper
Small onion, finely diced
Leeks, white/green parts only, well-washed, sliced thinly then chopped
Stalks celery with leaves, finely diced
Small fennel bulb, cored and finely diced
Cloves plump garlic, minced
Green bell pepper, minced
Fresh ground black pepper
Each: ground coriander and ground cumin
Small handful fresh parsley, chopped
Clam juice, bottled or fish stock
White beans, cooked (Northern or Cannellini)
15-ounce can chopped tomatoes, drained and rinsed
Cooked lump crab meat (picked over) or 2 6-ounce cans of crab, drained/rinsed
Each: Minced green onion, green bell pepper, cilantro-for garnish (toss together)
Extra sharp Cheddar cheese, grated--for garnish
In This Recipe
In a 6-quart heavy pot with lid, heat oil over medium heat and add the pinch of crushed red pepper, cooking for 30 seconds. Tip in fresh vegetables: onion, leeks, celery, fennel, garlic, green pepper. Season with salt and pepper, chili powder, coriander, cumin, parsley and bay leaf. Cook, stirring, 6 or 7 minutes without browning.
Pour in liquids --clam juice, broth, water--along with the beans and drained tomatoes. Cover and bring to a boil. Taste and adjust seasonings. Cook 20 minutes partly covered or until vegetables are all quite tender.
Stir in the crab. Heat through and simmer a few minutes. Toss together the green onion, green pepper, and cilantro for a fresh salsa garnish and set aside briefly. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve hot garnished with the fresh green onion salsa and grated cheese.
Whoever gets the bay leaf does the dishes. (Store leftovers tightly covered for no more than 48 hours.)