An Absolute Explosion of Flavor - Crab Orzo "Risotto"

You're going to want this. You're going to want this bad! I had no idea that what I was creating at Noon was going to have such full flavors. I mean let's face it, crab is mild, orzo itself is bland; however, when I combined it all with the other ingredients, flavors exploded. I took my time making this, making sure that I stirred and stirred and watched it every step of the way. I've had requests to create recipes for Dungeness Crab and I wanted to make sure this recipe turned out right. All the while I wanted to make sure that it was also going to be easy for everyone to make. Easy ingredients are also included. Check them out:

1cup of Orzo
8 ounces of Dungeness Crab meat, I prefer the legs and claws
4 cups of fish stock
1/4 cup of dry white wine
1/4 cup of sweet Marsala wine
1/2 cup of cream
1 medium shallot, finely chopped
5 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 cup grated Parm
1/4 cup large capers
2 green onions, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon of pepper
4 tablespoons of olive oil

In a 10 inch pan, spray bottom with cooking spray, add the olive oil and heat over medium high heat. I should mention at this point that I assume you have done your prep work and everything is chopped, minced, and grated. OK, now saute the shallots and garlic, lowering heat to medium. Saute for a couple of minutes and then add the orzo. Stir well so that orzo is well coated with the oil. Continue cooking for another minute or two, constantly stirring. Once you sense that the orzo is just beginning to stick to the pan, add the Marsala and the white wine and stir well.

Next you want to start adding the fish stock one cup at a time. Add the first cup, stir, and bring to a slow boil. Turn heat down a bit so that liquid doesn't boil too hard. Continue to stir for about 3 minutes and then add the second cup of fish stock. Reduce heat to medium low and bring back to a slow boil. Let it slow boil for about 6 to 8 more minutes. The orzo should begin to soften and liquid turning creamy. This is what you want to happen. Cooking orzo is a slow process and you want to constantly stir and keep adding moisture because in the end, you want the orzo to be cooked al dente with a creamy liquid.

Go ahead and add 1/2 cup more of the fish stock, continually stirring, this time stir like you are folding whipped cream into a batter, you know what I mean? Keep an eye on the liquid. As it reduces, keep adding a little more until you have used all 4 cups of the stock. Once all the stock is added, the orzo should have been cooking for about 12 to 15 minutes. Taste test the orzo for doneness. It should be very close to al dente but not quite.

Once you have reached that almost al dente finish, begin to add the cheese a little at a time, all the while stirring so that cheese melts nicely into the sauce. Begin to add the cream and ...... yes, continue to stir. When the rest of the cream has been added, lower heat to low or simmer. Add the capers and green onions and blend well. Add the pepper and the crab and carefully stir so that crab doesn't break apart too badly. You want to have some nice chunks. Remove from heat and let sit for a few minutes before you plate it. You may grate some additional cheese once plated, maybe even a pinch of parsley for garnis. A nice finishing touch to this meal is a nice tossed salad of mixed greens. I had this for lunch and guess what? I"m going to have it for dinner too. This is crazy tasty! And did you notice you didn't even have to add salt?? How cool is that?


  1. Nick,This looks amazing! I would love to taste it. Good photo.

  2. wow! that looks delish and very elegant

  3. Your right I WANT THIS!! What a great combo of flavors!

  4. Oh my! YES I want this now! Happy Thanksgiving!

  5. That sounds amazing! I'm glad you used Dungeness; it's my understanding that it's more sustainable. Must try!