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Cucumber Vichyssoise
with Crabmeat and Mint

Ti Sucrier

Cucumber Vichyssoise with Crabmeat and Mint

Ti Sucrier is located in Nettle Bay on the lagoon. The dining room provides a lovely view of the sun setting behind the French lowlands on the far corner of the lagoon. We always try to arrive before sunset to enjoy a drink as the sun sets and then segue into dinner as the lights come on across the lagoon. Those lights include the airport, far enough away that it cannot be heard, but interesting to watch.

The menu includes many Asain specialities and some old-fashioned French cuisine from Sylvain's grandmother, updated a bit by Sylvain, and modified by island availabilities. Service has always been good and the prices are reasonable.

  Ti Sucrier dining room

Cucumber Vichyssoise with Crabmeat and Mint

4 servings

2 medium cucumbers, half the skin peeled
1 medium onion, finely diced
1 tablespoon oil
2 cups whipping cream
2 cups chicken stock, homemade if possible, not too salty
8 large mint leaves, shredded, plus more for garnish
1 cup crab meat, picked over to remove bits of shell
Salt and pepper

In a medium saucepan, warm the oil and add the diced onion and a pinch of salt. Cook gently until the onion softens, but do not let it color. Cut the cucumbers into large dice, add them to the pan, and stir over medium heat until the cucumbers are bright green. Add the chicken stock and bring to the boil. Simmer no more than 3 minutes, add the cream and the shredded mint, and heat for 2 minutes more.

Blend the soup until smooth, and pour into a bowl set into a larger bowl of ice and water. Stir carefully for a minute or two; the object is to chill the soup rapidly. Taste the soup and add salt and pepper as needed. Refrigerate the soup until serving time.

Season the crab meat with salt and pepper, and a bit of mint if you like, folding gently to avoid breaking up the lumps.

To serve, divide the cold soup among four bowls. Mound the crabmeat in the middle of the bowl, and garnish with mint.

  Chef Sylvain Boulais

Le Goût du Vin

For this delicate dish Martial Jammes at Le Goût de Vin suggests a crisp 2007 Sauvignon Blanc Monkey Bay from New Zealand ($19) or not quite as crisp with a bit more body, from the Loire valley, the 2002 Pouilly Fume "Cuvee Majorum" from Michel Redde ($49). For a truly magnificent experience, choose the 1999 Chateau Laville Haut-Brion 1999 from the Pessac-Leognan of Bordeaux ($211). A wine with plenty of body and a bit of age.

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