Cooking Under Fire – Creamy Crab and Brandy Soup

This so very nearly wasn´t a recipe. I treated us to two Dressed Crabs which we had planned to eat with a crispy salad and some beautiful new potatoes dripping with butter.

In my flustered and tired state I left them in the fridge in the house we are renovating and we got home to face an entirely different supper. I rescued the crabs the next day, but as they weren´t as super fresh as on the day they had been dressed, I decided to turn them into a luxurious soup. This wasn´t really Cooking Under Fire either as I used my parents´ kitchen in their holiday home, but I did still have to rummage around to find the Brandy…so there was some small element of hardship involved in the process…

Serves 2 as a hearty main course or 4-6 as a starter

  • 2 dressed crabs (white and dark meat)
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into small chunks
  • 2 tablespoons of brandy
  • About 150ml of single cream
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 dried chili
  • Half an onion
  • A thumb sized piece of fresh ginger, peeled and cut into 2 or 3 pieces
  • Water

Remove the meat from the crab shells and reserve. Break up the shells a little with a rolling pin and put into a saucepan then cover with about 1 litre of water. Add the onion, ginger, bay leaf and dried chili. Bring to the boil and simmer for about 10 mins, drain and reserve the stock.

Add the crab meat and potato to the stock and simmer (uncovered) until the potatoes are tender and the stock has reduced a little. Stir in the cream and brandy, taste and season with salt if necessary and pepper (I used white pepper). Mash the mixture gently so that the soup thickens but there are still chunks of crab meat and potatoes. If you prefer a smoother, silky texture, blitz in the blender or with an immersion blender stick. Warm through gently before serving and remind yourself that sometimes being forgetful can be a good thing.

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Cheers – It´s 4th July!

Cheers!

Cherry Brandy & Ginger Beer

Being the sort of girl who needs no excuse to raise a glass, here´s a big “Cheers” to all my new blogging pals celebrating the 4th July. Hope it´s a great day for you all.

As you know, it´s cherry season here up the mountain and after stoning far too many kilos for jam making, I decided to ring the changes and make something gorgeous for the cooler months.  I came across a wonderful recipe over on Olive and Artichokes for a cherry liqueur they have made with Eau de Vie.  We can´t get that here, at least, I´ve never come across it…but I didn´t let this stand in my way!

I bought a bottle of Spanish Brandy, not one of the rough ones might I add, and got my sugar, cherries and bottles ready.

Not many ingredients...

I followed the instructions given in the recipe, that is layering cherries and sugar and then filling the containers with liqueur. 

Get Layering...

Hopefully in a few months time I´ll have a delicious cherry flavoured brandy and some brandy flavoured cherries.  Can´t wait!

Fill....and wait!

Just over three weeks ago I started to make some alcoholic ginger beer.  If you want to give it a go, you´ll find the recipe here.

It´s very simple, all you need is a sachet of yeast, a jar of powdered ginger, sugar and a jar or jug you can loosely cover.

This is what you´ll need

After a week of adding yeast and sugar to your initial mixture (see the recipe) you´ll add water, lemon juice and more sugar to make about 7 litres of ginger flavoured drink.

Get Squeeeeeezing...

You need to leave some space in your plastic bottles for expansion, so only fill them about three quarters and then squeeze some of the air out before sealing them. If you don´t do this you´ll have exploding ginger beer all over the place and it´s very sticky.  I know this from experience!

Not long to wait now!

Once you´ve been patient you will be rewarded with gorgeous sparkling, lemony, gingery Ginger Beer.  I don´t know exactly how alcoholic it is, although it does get stronger the longer you leave it.  After about 3 months it starts to taste acidic, but I don´t suppose you´ll have it for that long as it´s delicious. And if you can´t wait 3 weeks, wait a week and mix it up with soda or water for a refreshing, non alcoholic drink.

So good, even Alfi wants to get in on the act!

Happy Independence Day!