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Fish 4 Friday: Zesty Crab and Corn Chowder

This entry is part of a series, F4F 2011»

Colorful Crab

As spring settles in across the land, soups begin to seem less interesting. Salads, burgers, all sorts of other food captures our attention. So let’s give winter a nice send-off with one last soup, a crab and corn chowder that can be tailored lots of ways. Including seafood-free, if that’s what you want! (That may miss the point of Lenten Fridays, but what the heck.) Today’s recipe is a revised version of one found in the book “Serving San Antonio.”

First, the software:

  • 1/2 cup chopped green onion
  • 1 garlic clove, minced (about 1 tsp)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 cans cream of potato soup
  • 8 ounces Neufchatel cheese, softened (room temperature)
  • 1 cup fat-free or 1% milk
  • 1 cup nonfat cream (yes, the stuff does exist!)
  • 6-8 ounces crab meat, canned or from the cooler case at the grocery store
  • 1 pound frozen whole-kernel corn, thawed
  • Sea salt and white pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar

The hardware’s easy: a large saucepan or medium Dutch oven, with lid; a slotted spoon or a small whisk; medium sized fine-mesh strainer; festive bowls and a generous ladle for serving.

Brown Crab

The algorithm’s short and sweet: Sauté the onion and garlic in butter in the saucepan over medium heat. Season with cayenne as you go. Stir in the potato soup, cream cheese, milk and cream and turn the heat down to medium-low. Stir occasionally, until the mixture is hot and creamy but not boiling.

Drain and flake the crabmeat. Stir crab and corn into the soup and simmer for about 10 minutes. Season to taste just before serving. Add the sugar at the end; use only as much as you like.

Here’s the neat twist: You can make this simple chowder with chicken instead of crab, and still have a great corn chowder! Or, you can use some cooked, flaky white fish (trout, cod, flounder, or similar) and have a potato-corn chowder with fish.

You can add some cheese if you like that, or serve cheese on the side as a garnish. I also think cilantro or parsley make a nice garnish, if you’re thinking green. Include carrots, sliced olives and celery on the side and you’ve got a complete meal.

Adjust the cayenne at the beginning to turn the zest up or down. However you like it, this one’s easy enough you can fix it quick and get out into the spring evening for other activities…

Enjoy the (Adjustable Chowder) Heat!

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