Super Bowl Crab Cioppino

Serves 4

Note: 1 cup of the cooked crab meat will be used for crab toasts.

4 cooked, cracked Dungeness crabs

Cioppino broth:

1/2 cup grapeseed oil

2 medium yellow onions, sliced thinly

2 leeks, white part only, sliced thinly

2 celery stalks, sliced thinly

2 medium carrots, sliced thinly

1 bulb fennel, core removed, sliced thinly

2 red Fresno chiles or jalapeño peppers, sliced thinly

8 garlic cloves, sliced thinly

4 tablespoons tomato paste

1 bottle white wine

Stems from 1 bunch basil

1 tablespoon fennel seeds

1 tablespoon coriander seeds

28-ounce can diced tomatoes

1 quart clam juice

Juice of 4 oranges

1. Pull the crab meat from the shells, picking through to remove any bits of shell. Set aside a few of the crab legs for serving. Reserve the crab meat for the finished cioppino and the crab toasts.

2. Break up crab shells into small pieces. Heat a large pan over high heat. Add crab shells to the hot pan, stir; add grapeseed oil, then cook shells for 5 minutes.

3. Add onions, leeks, carrots, fennel, celery, chiles and garlic; saute until vegetables sweat and become translucent, about 15 minutes.

4. Add tomato paste; stir to coat. Continue cooking until tomato paste is sticky and starts to brown. (The smell of the raw tomato paste will be gone, and it will smell like caramelizing vegetables.)


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5. Add basil stems and wine; deglaze the pan, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom with a wooden spoon. Reduce the wine by half.

6. Place fennel and coriander seeds in a small mesh tea ball; add to pot. Stir in diced tomatoes, clam juice and orange juice. Reduce heat, then let simmer 45 minutes.

7. Remove tea ball, and taste broth for spice. Add more peppers, if you wish. Let broth cool slightly. Working in batches, pour broth into a blender; blend on low just enough to break up the shells. Push through coarse strainer. Discard shells. Return to pot.

8. To serve, ladle the broth into bowls; serve with crab legs and crab meat.

-- Michael Mina