2 pounds mussels, cleaned and debearded
1 ea shallots, peeled & thinly sliced
2 ea roma tomatoes, seeded and diced medium
4 ea celery stalks, diagonally sliced
2 tablespoons fresh garlic, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 Tbsp kosher salt
2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
For the broth:
1 quart chicken stock
1 cup white wine
1 cup fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 ea fresh rosemary sprigs
2 ea fresh thyme sprigs
1 tablespoon dried chamomile buds
2 ea bay leaves, fresh or dry
1 ea fresh lemon grass, crushed and chopped
1/4 cup celery, trimmed and chopped
1/4 cup carrots, trimmed and chopped
1/4 cup onions, trimmed and chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 ea large blue crab, cleaned and halved
1 pinch saffron, spanish (optional)
A pinch of minced fresh parsley leaves
A pinch of ground Aleppo pepper (optional)
1. In a stock pot, combine all items for the broth except crab.
2. Bring broth to a boil, stir and reduce heat. Add crab and cover pot with lid.
3. Allow to simmer for 15 minutes, remove from heat and allow to rest for 20 minutes.
4. Remove crabs and reserve. Gently strain broth through cheesecloth, filter or a chinois.
5. Discard all remaining solids and reserve broth.
6. In another stock pot, heat olive oil and sauté shallots, celery and garlic until lightly brown.
7. Add tomatoes and mussels. Stir well to evenly coat. Add reserved stock and stir well.
8. Add butter, salt, pepper, lemon zest and reserved crabs. Stir well and allow to simmer for 10 minutes.
9. Remove from heat and serve immediately.
Garnish with Aleppo pepper and fresh parsley. Serve with toasted, crusty bread. Refrigerate any leftovers.
Use frozen gumbo crabs because they have been pre-cleaned, trimmed and with the top shells removed. If using fresh crabs, wash thoroughly and steam or parboil them in advance. Trim the tails and eyes. Remove the top shells and gills prior to making the cioppino broth.