Crab Corn Chowder

The corn is coming in early this year and it is as sweet as can be. The farmer’s market is overflowing with piles of fresh picked ears of corn and all I could think about was the crab corn chowder that I had last summer in Backfin Blue Cafe.  I asked for the recipe, but was told the chef doesn’t even share it with his mother.  Gezzzzhhhh!!!!    But half the fun of cooking is trying to replicate something you have had.

There was a day not too long ago that any soup I tried to make always turned out bland and totally unremarkable. A few things I’ve learned along the way is use a homemade stock.  The stocks are easy to make and really adds depth to your soup.  And try to make a stock out of the majority of the component flavors that are in a soup.  So a chicken soup, should have a chicken broth.  A seafood soup, should contain fish stock, etc…  Sometimes I see a soup recipe and the broth it requires is so off the mark.

A new broth I made is from the rinds of Parmesan Reggiano.  Whole Foods sells the ends in a small container; which are fairly inexpensive.  I used two containers of cheese rinds to 4 cups of water and simmered for about two hours.  I’m looking forward to making a pasta fagioli or escarole soup and shaving some parmesan on top of it.

The first part of this recipe is the broth made out of corn cobs.  There was minimal effort and it was worth the extra step.

Corn Broth

Ingredients:

2 tbs. EVOO

4 corn cobs

1/2 onion; large slice

1 carrot; large slice

4 sprigs of thyme

1 bay leaf

4 whole peppercorns

1 tbsp. salt

2 qts. (8 cups) water

Procedure:

In a large dutch oven, heat the EVOO.  Add in onion and carrot.  Saute on medium high heat for 8-10 minutes. Add in corn cobs, thyme, bay leaf, pepper corn and salt.  Cover with water.  Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to simmer.  Simmer for 45 minutes.  Strain vegetables out and reserve for soup.

Crab Corn Chowder

Ingredients:

4 cobs of roasted corn *see note*

3 oz. bacon; diced

1 stick of butter

4 celery stalks; small dice

1 medium onion; small dice

2 garlic cloves; minced

3/4 cup of all-purpose flour

2 oz. sherry

2 qts.  (8 cups) of corn stock

1- 14.5 oz of coconut milk

1 lb. lump crab meat

1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper

salt & pepper to taste

Procedure:

1. In a large dutch oven, saute bacon until brown and crisp.  Remove with a slotted spoon.

2. Add butter to pan. When butter has melted add in celery and onion.  Cook until onions are translucent-about 8-10 minutes.

3. Add in garlic. Stir for 1 minute.

4.  Add in flour. Stir for about 5 minutes to throughly mix in.

5.  Add sherry and stock.  Whisk continuously for 5 minutes to allow flour to dissolve and thicken the broth.

6. Turn heat to low and simmer for 1 hour.

7.  Add in coconut milk, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper.  Simmer for another 1/2 hour.

8.  Add in roasted corn. Puree mixture with a hand-held blender or  standing blender.

9.  Add in lump crab meat.

10. Top with a spoonful of crab, bacon, and scallions.

**Roasted Crab Note**

Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Drizzle  & brush corn with a little EVOO and roast in the oven for approximately 30 minutes. Turning cobs half way through.  With a knife, slice off kernels and use the cobs for the broth.

Recipe was adapted from here. January 2007


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