Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Lobster Corn Chowder

I know what you're thinking -- Who needs a bowl of chowder laden with calorie-heavy cream? Well, you do, that's who, once you taste it. When you consider that the entire recipe's got only a half-pint of cream (832 calories) and it serves at least eight people, it's really not so bad. The only problem is that the chowder is so good, you'll want more than one serving. Still, add a green salad to feel virtuous and it's ok to eat two bowls if it's your entire meal.   

Are you convinced?  Then get ready, get set, and get two lobsters. Cook them yourself or ask your fish market to do it for you (undercook them because they'll cook more in the chowder).

Once they're cool, remove all the lobster meat - hold the shells aside for the broth.

Next, you need to shuck six ears of corn and remove all the kernels from the cobs, using a sharp knife. Please make this recipe now while fresh corn is still so sweet and delicious.

Then throw the cobs and the lobster shells into a pot of boiling water and let it perk away for 1/2 hour to an hour.

While that's happening, sauté the veggies in some olive oil.

Follow the directions below and you'll end up with this creamy chowder redolent of all things wickedly wonderful. Assuming you're not serving it to vegetarians or lactose intolerant folks, get ready to attain "most favored status" in your household.

And if what you're looking for is a halo above your head, top each serving with a beautiful, meaty lobster claw.

Lobster Corn Chowder

makes about eight servings 

Two lobsters (1 to 1/2 lbs. each)

8 cups water

6 ears corn

1 large or 2 small leeks, chopped finely

1 T. olive oil

1/2 large red pepper, diced

2 stalks celery, diced

1 cup white wine

2 cups cubed potatoes (I used small fingerling potatoes)

1/2 pt. heavy cream

fresh thyme, parsley, chives

1/4 t. paprika

salt, pepper

Boil or steam the lobsters, or have them cooked for you at your fish market. Undercook them by five minutes (or ask the fish market people to undercook them because they'll also get cooked again in the chowder.) Let the lobsters cool until you can handle them, then remove all the meat from the shells. Cut the lobster meat into bite size chunks, keeping some of the claw meat intact to lavish on a favored bowl of soup for a special someone, if desired (that could be YOU!).

Shuck the ears of corn and set aside. Take the corn cobs and the lobster shells and put into a pot of boiling water. Let it boil at a high heat for at least 1/2 hour, preferably an hour. Strain the liquid from the solids. You should be left with about six cups of liquid, but it could be more, or it could be less, depending on how vigorous the boil was. You'll want at least four cups, so if you've got less than that, add more water and let it boil a bit more. If you have too much water, let it boil a bit more to reduce- you get the idea.

In another pot, place the olive oil, the leeks, red pepper and celery. Let them sweat until limp and cooked through.  Add the white wine and let it come to a boil, then lower to a simmer for a few minutes. Add about four cups of the cooked lobster/corn broth to the pot with the sweated vegetables. Add the cubed potatoes and cook until almost softened, maybe another 10 minutes or so. Add the corn, the seasonings and taste. Pour in the cream and simmer for a couple of minutes more, then remove about two or three ladles-full (about 1 cup or so) of the chowder and place in a blender to pureé. You'll use this to help thicken the chowder. Pour the pureéd chowder back into the larger pot, then finally, add the lobster meat. Cook for only a couple more minutes, taste seasonings and adjust if necessary.

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