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With over 35 years of cooking experience, 21 years of them in the restaurant industry, and now 9 years of experience in information technology and away from the production side of the biz my focus now is to document and record in digital format the vast knowledge base that has accumulated over the years. Several boxes of manuals, binders, notebooks, recipes, etc, and with 350+ cookbooks and reference material in my library, my current focus is transforming this personal hard copy document collection into digital format.
While I still offer the occasional cooking demonstration at local specialty and gourmet shops, my cooking is primarily at home. However, in addition to my current focus of writing about food and cooking (Cajun Chef Ryan Blog), I am also working on developing a line of artisan spice mixes, sauces, and dressings for future marketing and mass production.
It is my hope to inspire others who want to pursue a career in culinary arts, restaurants, and the food service industry. I am also brainstorming about the possibility of opening up a cooking school and going back to my true love of all things culinary.
Cajun Chef Ryan
Maryland Style Crab Soup Low Carb version thickened with cauliflower sans roux. #cajunchefryan #crab #foodporn #lowcarb
Author: Cajun Chef Ryan
Recipe type: Soup
Serves: 8 servings
Having been diagnosed with diabetes mellitus in January, I have taken on the task of limiting my fat and carbohydrate intake. And have subsequently been put on a diabetic low carbohydrate diet, along with added activity and exercise, I have lost 20 pounds in the past 3-months! As a result of my diagnosis, Monique and I have been finding low carbohydrate and low fat recipes, and we have also been taking some of our favorite recipes and modifying them to fit our new healthy diet regimen! For this recipe, the cauliflower replaces 50% of the fat and 100% of the flour from the original recipe, which reduces the fat by ½ and all of the flour-based carbohydrates. The cauliflower puree serves as the replacement thickening agent in this soup, and actually adds a new-found balance of flavor and texture. As an option you can also replace ½ of the dairy product (half-and-half) with more chicken stock to remove even more carbohydrates and fat from the recipe. We found a fat-free half-and-half which works even better for our fat and carbohydrate requirements. The original recipe can be found on the Old Bay Seasoning web site, just Google Old Bay Maryland Cream of Crab Soup!
2 Tbsp. butter
1 medium Onion, finely chopped
4 stalks Celery, finely chopped
2 stalks Leeks, white part only cleaned cut into julienne thin slices
2 cups Chicken stock
1 head Cauliflower, cut into small flowerets
1 quart (4-cups) half-and-half (Fat-Free, if available)
1 tablespoon Old Bay Seasoning (or Cajun spice blend)
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
¼ Cup Parsley, fresh, chopped
1 pound Lump crabmeat, cleaned
1 pound Salad sized shrimp
3 tablespoons dry sherry or brandy
1 tsp. Salt
½ tsp. White pepper
2 tsp. Crystal hot sauce
Melt butter in a large skillet on medium heat. Add the onions, celery, and leeks, and sauté for 5 to 10 minutes or until softened.
In a separate 4-quart sauce pot add the cauliflower flowerets and the chicken stock, cover and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a good simmer and cook for about 10 minutes, or until the cauliflower is very soft. Once softened, remove from the heat and allow to cool, then blend well in the pitcher of a blender or bowl of a food processor, OR use an immersion blender in the sauce pot and puree the cauliflower until smooth. Return the cauliflower to the sauce pot if you used an external blender or food processor.
Add the sautéed seasonings (onions, celery, leeks) to the cauliflower puree and then add the half-and-half, and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat, or about 5-10 minutes. Stir occasionally so the soup does not scorch.
Stir in the Old Bay Seasoning, Worcestershire sauce, and parsley. Then gently fold in the crabmeat, shrimp and sherry or brandy, and bring back to a simmer over low to medium heat, or about 5-10 minutes.
Season to taste and stir in the salt, white pepper, and Crystal hot sauce.