Thursday, July 22, 2010

Melon Soup with Crab

This might not be shocking to most, but we are going through one hell of a heat wave.  According to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association, 2010 is set to be the hottest year on record... world wide.  The northeast has been hit especially hard, with temps in Boston, New York and Philly topping 100F in early July.  And it hit 129F in Pakistan in June... [political side note: why exactly are we there again?]

Since my roommate and I have decided to ban the use of the stove (we don't have A/C and it is all kinds of miserable in my apartment), I wanted to make something cold and refreshing for dinner, something that required no cooking and, thankfully, no stove.

The melons were on display immediately upon entering the grocery store.  Its obvious I'm the only one craving cold, watery fruit.  The cantaloupe smelled divine so into my basket it went.  I had bought some crab from the Asian grocery store a few weeks ago (frozen) so decided to try and put these two things together and make something delicious out of them.  Melon + Crabs = Very summery.

Ingredients (4 servings): 
1 shallot, finely diced
2 tbsps chives, diced
2 tbsps lemon juice (I used the juice from one lemon, which I assume is roughly 2 tbsps)
2 tbsps extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsps greek yogurt
2 tsps dijon mustard
1 lb crab meat (I highly recommend using fresh if you can)
1 ripe cantelope, peeled and diced into 1" cubes
2-3 tbsps honey or simple syrup, depending on the sweetness of your melon
salt and pepper
champagne (optional)

Step 1: Prep the shallot and chives
Step 2: Mix together the shallots, chives, and next 4 ingredients (lemon, oil, yogurt, mustard) and season if it needs it.  Gently fold in the crab, trying not to break it up too much.

Step 3: Add the cubed melon, 1 tbsp lemon juice, and your sweetener of choice (honey, sugar, etc) to a blender and hit "Puree"

**look how sweet and juicy this melon is!!  Yay!!

Step 4: Assembly (and booze addition if you're so inclined).

Mound the crab mixture into the center of each bowl.  Pour the melon puree around it, and garnish with chives. 

*Optional* If you a big fan of food-wine pairings, as I am, mix 1/2 C of champagne into the pureed melon before adding it into the bowls.  The chammers gives the soup a little more depth and bubbles.  Yeah, that's right, I got really excited about bubbles in my food.   I am 5 years old.
I liked this soup, it was very different, but if I ever made it again I have big changes in mind.  First of all, I think fresh lump crab meat would have done wonders for this dish.  The frozen stuff from Super88 really didn't have the flavor or texture I was looking for.  I admit that I'm a bit of a crab snob seeing as I grew up on the Chesapeake Bay and all.  I don't think Boyfriend was a big a fan either.  Again, I think it was the crab.  Also, if I make this again I think I'll add some spice/heat to the crab mixture.  I think hot chilies or ginger would balance the sweetness of the melon and crab nicely.

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