Corn and Lobster Chowder
Chowders, of course, are quintessential New England. Maine is especially known for its clam, fish and seafood chowders. Lobster and corn combine to create an exceptional chowder that is creamy, rich and hearty, with tender chunks of potatoes and finished off with crispy-smoky bacon. It’s hard to beat on a cool fall or winter day.
The first step in making my Lobster Chowder is to cook the lobster and make a flavorful lobster stock with the shells and body. This is the foundation of the chowder which is then thickened and enriched with spices and aromatics (onions, carrots and sometimes leeks and celery). In this summer version, I add diced red potatoes and corn off the cob.
Seasonal vegetable supplements can bring out the best in your chowders. In the spring I will add asparagus to my chowders and in the fall and winter, when sweet corn on the cob is not in season, I will replace the corn and potatoes with roasted sweet potatoes or winter squash. A sprinkle of fresh thyme leaves at the end is also a nice substitute for chopped parsley.
Corn and Lobster ChowderCourse: SoupsCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Medium
In the winter I often substitute roasted sweet potatoes for the sweet corn in this recipe. You can always use frozen corn when fresh sweet corn is out of season.
Two 1 1/2 pound live Maine lobsters
6 strips thick-sliced apple-smoked bacon
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 cup finely chopped yellow onion
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 bay leaf
2 cups red skin potatoes, washed and not peeled, medium dice
1/2 cup small dice carrots
4 ears corn on the cob
1 cup heavy cream
Kosher salt to taste
1 Tablespoon picked Italian parsley leaves
- Fill a large 9-quart stockpot with two inches of water, cover and bring to a boil. Add live lobsters, cover and cook for 10 minutes. Remove from the water and let cool. When cool, crack lobsters and remove the meat from the claws, knuckles and tail (discarding the vein). Cut the lobster meat into 1/2-inch pieces. Reserve lobster meat and shells separately, washing the green tamale away.
- Pour the cooking liquid from the pot into a quart measurer. Fill to 1 quart, using additional water if necessary. Place the lobster heads and shells in the large pot with the 1 quart of cooking liquid. Bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes. Strain and reserve the liquid, discarding the shells.
- Cut the bacon into 1/2-inch pieces. Heat the olive oil in a 4-quart saucepan over medium- high heat. Add the bacon, stirring occasionally, and cook until crisp. Scoop out the crisp bacon (reserve) and add the onions and butter. Cook the onions until translucent. Stir in the flour and cook for 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Whisk in the reserved lobster stock and add the bay leaf, black pepper and diced potatoes. Cook for 15 minutes and add the diced carrots. Cook for 5 more minutes.
- Remove the husk and hair from the ears of corn. Cut each ear in half widthwise. Stand the halves on the cut ends and remove the kernels of corn with a chef’s knife, following close to the cob. Add the corn to the soup and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
- Remove the bay leaf from the soup and stir in the heavy cream. Adjust seasoning with the salt.