A velvety and elegant seasonal chowder, topped with a generous serving of freshly picked snow crab meat.
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Crab season feels like spring’s yearly gift to me. Around the time I see asparagus appear at the market, I know crab’s right around the corner—and warmer days too. How can this lovely combination not make you happy?
To be honest, I’m a late bloomer when it comes to crab. I don’t love eating bone-in or shell-on meat and shellfish, so I wasn’t attracted by those spiky crab legs before a few years ago, when E requested making crab-leg dinners a spring tradition (he’s a huge fan). We buy the legs cooked and pulled from the bodies, so it’s not a messy affair at all, and having to crack your way to the sweet meat is a major part of the fun. Those dinners are so easy to setup: just get crab legs at the fish market, serve them with a green salad, and you’re done. I like my crab meat sprinkled with lemon juice, but E eats it plain. It’s true: the delightfully sweet, slightly salty taste of fresh snow crab shines bright on its own.
Because we are such crab fans, I also like to use it in simple recipes, so we can indulge as much as possible while the season lasts. When it comes to using snow-crab meat in recipes, the simpler, the better. Crab cakes are of course a classic, and we also love it in risotto and soups. This one is an interesting take on a classic chowder: the velvety broth is made with crab’s best buddies, corn and avocado, and it is brightly flavored with coconut milk, red curry paste, and coriander. Such aromatic ingredients need no time to develop into rich flavors, so the chowder comes together in less than 15 minutes. Simply ladle it into shallow bowls, top with a generous serving of freshly picked crab meat, and you’ve got the freshest and most elegant soup of the season.
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