Sunday, October 7, 2007

Sweet Corn and Crab Chowder

This recipes is worth the work. It does dirty a number of pans but it makes a really delicious brothy chowder. You can substitue shrimp or lobster for the crab or leave out the seafood and enjoy a corn chowder. Whatever you do don't use fake crab meat! (I got this recipe from the famous Chicago chef, Charlie Trotter)

10 ears of sweet corn
2 bay leaves
4 qts water
Salt and freshly ground pepper (to taste)
1 cup heavy whipping cream
8 oz. bacon
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 large potato, peeled and diced
12 oz. crab meat, cooked
2 T. chopped fresh chives (optional)

Cut off the kernels from the cob, reserving both the kernels and the cob. Place the cobs, bay leaves and water into a stock pot and simmer for 1 hour. Strain through a fine sieve and through away the solids. Season the broth with salt and pepper.

Chowder base:
Put half of the corn kernels into a saucepan with the cream and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until the cream is reduced to 2/3 cup. Put in blender or food processor and puree until smooth.

Cook the bacon in frying pan until the fat is translucent. Add the onion, potato and the rest of the corn. Cook for 10 to 12 minutes. Add the crab and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Put the corn puree into a large dutch oven or saucepan and add the corn broth 1 cup at a time until the chowder has the desired consistency. (A chef once told me that in the West, where they don't really understand chowders, they make it too thick. In the East, the home of chowder, they make it brothy.) Add the bacon mixture and cook for 5 minutes or until warm. Add more broth if needed. Season with salt and pepper.

Serve in bowls topped with fresh chives, if desired.

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