Archive for the ‘Soups & Gumbos’ Category

Crab and Corn Soup

November 17, 2009

Crab & Corn Soup

6 gumbo crabs, or shells from 6 medium hard-shelled crabs,
or even crab legs if that’s what you can get
6 corn cobs, kernels removed and reserved, scraped
2 medium onions, quartered
2 quarts water
2 sticks unsalted butter
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon liquid crab boil
1½ cups half & half
1 pound fresh lump crabmeat, shells carefully removed
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1½ cups finely chopped green onions

Bring crabs, corn cobs, and quartered onions to a boil in the water, and simmer over low heat until liquid is reduced to 1 quart. Strain and set aside. Melt butter in a large saucepan and add flour. Cook, stirring, until flour turns beige. Whisk in stock and crab boil. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and let simmer for 15 minutes. Add corn and simmer for 15 minutes more. Stir in half & half. Gently add crabmeat. Remove from heat and add salt and pepper to taste and green onions.

Note: To hold for serving or to reheat, use a double boiler.

Makes 8 servings

See cookbook photos, a list of all of the recipes or to order the Cafe Sassone cookbook at

Crawfish Bisque Recipe

November 2, 2009


Crawfish Bisque

a sample recipe from Cafe Sassone Cookbook
Crawfish Bisque

Crawfish Bisque photo captured during recipe kitchen testing.
My all-time favorite thing. I never order this in a restaurant because I will be disappointed, so if I want some, I have to make it myself. Way back when, Mama and Mamie used to order wonderful Crawfish Bisque from a man named Mr. Clade. It came in interestingly-printed round cardboard cartons. Something happened to Mr. Clade, and we no longer had Crawfish Bisque. Terrible dilemma! So one day in the early ’70s at Queenie Regina camp in Little Woods, Mama and I decided to make Crawfish Bisque ourselves. Queenie Regina is gone, but I still have the scribbled and stained recipe card with my notes of what went into that ultimately perfect batch. And here it is for posterity.

Oh, and don’t let anybody try to tell you to skip the step of stuffing the heads and frying them, and the bisque will be the same with just balls of stuffing, and bla bla bla. It’s not the same. I fell for this work-saving suggestion and tried it one year, and the bisque suffered for it. If you’re going to do this much work, and only once a year, you might as well go all the way. (The stuffing is excellent made into balls and fried as an hors d’oeuvre, though, if you aren’t up to making bisque.)


For heads:

1 clove garlic
2 small onions
½ bell pepper
2 green onions
1 stalk celery
cayenne pepper
6 tablespoons stick margarine
½ pound crawfish tails (or 4 to 5 pounds crawfish in shell, peeled)
1 cup French bread crumbs
60 crawfish “heads”, cleaned (pick out the largest ones)
flour for dredging
oil for frying

Grind everything except heads, flour, and oil. (Back then we used a meat grinder that clamped onto the counter or table. Mama and Mamie each had one but they went away in Katrina. Now you can just use the Cuisinart, but don’t overprocess.) Mix it all together and stuff into the heads. Dredge the stuffed heads in flour and fry in hot oil. Drain on paper towels.

For bisque:

½ cup bacon grease or oil
½ cup flour
3 medium onions, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ bunch green onions, sliced
2 quarts stock made from crawfish claws
4 tablespoons chopped parsley
3 bay leaves
1 teaspoon paprika
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 pound crawfish tails (or 8 to 10 pounds crawfish in shell, peeled)
3 cups rice, cooked

Make roux with bacon grease or oil and flour. When roux is somewhat darker than the color of peanut butter, add the vegetables to the roux. Cook until the vegetables are soft. Add the stock, parsley, and seasonings, and cook a couple of hours, adding more stock or water as needed. Check for seasonings. Add heads and tails, heat through, and serve over rice.

Makes 10 servings

See more cookbook photos, a list of all of the recipes or order the Cafe Sassone cookbook at