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Rania’s Recipes: Charleston Crab Soup, Lowcountry Shrimp & Grits

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(Photo Courtesy of Rania Harris)

(Photo Courtesy of Rania Harris)

If you’re looking to add a little southern soul to your food, be sure to check out these two recipes from Rania Harris today!

Charleston Crab Soup

  • 1 pound fresh (or frozen) blue crab claw meat
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1 quart whole milk
  • 1 quart heavy cream
  • 1 quart half-and-half
  • ¼-1/2 cup cornstarch
  • Generous dash of Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 tablespoons sherry or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon Old Bay Seasoning or to taste
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions:

Pick over the crabmeat.  Remove and discard all cartilage or shell bits.  In a large pot, melt the butter over medium heat.  Add the onion and celery, stirring to coat, and cook until softened and translucent, about 3 minutes.  Add 3 cups of the milk, the cream, and the half-and-half.  Heat to just boiling, stirring often.  Dissolve ¼ cup cornstarch plus 1 to 2 tablespoons for a thicker soup in the remaining 1 cup of milk and add to the soup, stirring well.  Add the Worcestershire sauce, sherry, Old Bay Seasoning, and salt and pepper.  Taste and adjust salt and pepper accordingly.  When the soup is thickened (thickened enough to coat a spoon, about 20 minutes), add the crabmeat.  Heat through over low heat.  Thin with more heavy cream or half-and-half before serving if the soup is too thick as well as to “stretch for extra servings”.  Serve hot.

Serves 10

Lowcountry Shrimp and Grits

For the Grits:

  • 8 cups water
  • 3 cups quick cooking grits
  • 1 stick (1/4 pound) unsalted butter
  • 1 – 1-1/2 cups heavy cream
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

For the Shrimp Sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1-3/4 pounds andouille sausage, cut into approximately 28 ½-inch-thick slices
  • 1 cup cubed country ham (cut into ¼-inch dice)
  • 1-1/4 pounds large (21-25 count) shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • ½ cup finely chopped peeled and seeded tomatoes
  • ¼ cup finely sliced scallions
  • 4 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 4 teaspoons Cajun-style fish blackening seasoning
  • 1 cup salt-free chicken stock
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions:
To prepare the grits, bring the water to a boil over high heat in a large heavy-bottomed pot. Add the grits, stir, and bring back to a boil, stirring constantly with a whisk or flat-tipped wooden spoon to prevent sticking. Continue cooking on low heat, stirring, until thickened for about 5 minutes. Add the butter and the heavy cream, stirring to incorporate. Heat through and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, about 20 minutes before serving, prepare the shrimp sauce. Heat the oil over high heat in a large deep sauté pan. When hot and sizzling, add the sausage and country ham. Saute, tossing, until the sausage and ham begin to turn golden and caramelize, about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-high. Add the shrimp, tomato, scallions, minced garlic, and Cajun-style fish blackening seasoning. Saute for another 3 minutes, being sure to combine well and coat the ingredients evening with the seasoning. Add the chicken stock, increase the heat to high, and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the butter and cook until the shrimp are cooked through, another 1 to 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

To serve, ladle the grits into shallow bowls and top with the sauce. Serve immediately.

Serves: 4 to 6

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