Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Kickin' Crab and Corn Chowder

Many restaurants, particularly in Virginia, offer a spicy corn and crab chowder on their menu Most of these "chowders" are just thin soups with trace amounts of crab and very little corn flavor. NEWSFLASH RESTAURANTS: A chowder cannot be called a chowder unless it has potato in it! It's sad to think that restaurants are charging $4 a bowl for a thin soup with the essence of crab and corn.

This crab and corn chowder recipe is what the restaurants should serve. Lusciously thick corn chowder is spiced up with cayenne pepper, seafood stock, a shot of dry sherry and of course, copious amounts of crab meat. Because I live in an area where blue crab is king, of course that is what I used! There's no need to waste money on lump crab meat for this recipe, choose a less expensive type instead - like backfin or special.

Kickin’ Crab and Corn Chowder

  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 small yellow onion, small dice

  • 4 ears sweet corn, corn removed and 2 cobs reserved

  • 4 cups diced potato

  • 3 tbsp flour

  • 2 tsp white pepper

  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper

  • 1 tsp kosher salt

  • 1 tsp herbes de provence

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 1 quart seafood stock

  • 1 lb special blue crab meat

  • 1 cup half and half

  • ¼ cup dry sherry

Place a large stock pot over medium heat and melt the butter. Lightly sauté the garlic and onion until translucent; about 3 minutes. Next, add in the corn and potato to sauté for another 3 minutes.

Sprinkle the flour and the remaining herbs and spices over top of the sautéed vegetables and stir until the flour is absorbed; cook for 1 minute. Slowly stir in the seafood stock and add the reserved corn cobs to the pot. Bring the liquid to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes.

To give this chowder a very creamy consistency, it is important to puree a portion of the liquid. In the bowl of a food processor or blender, remove 4 ladles of the chowder. Process this until it is very smooth; about 1 minute. Pour the pureed chowder back into the pot and return to a simmer; cook for an additional 10 minutes.

While the chowder is simmering, now is the time to pick through the crab meat for any pieces of shell or cartilage. Once it’s been picked, slowly add it to the chowder as carefully as possible so to not break up the meat. Finish the chowder with the addition of half and half for extra creaminess and the shot of sherry. Taste the chowder and add more cayenne pepper if desired.

This chowder will keep in the refrigerator for 3 days.

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