Monday, October 14, 2013

One Great . . . lobster corn chowder

I love the way food seasons are both predictable and unpredictable: They're predictable because you know that if it's April, you'll get to eat asparagus and if it's July, you'll get to eat cantaloupe. They're also unpredictable: Some years bring unexpected bounties of things to cook.

If you're a lobster lover, the summer of 2013 may go down as "the year when we almost got enough lobster." Lobster prices tumbled, which is hard on Maine lobster catchers but easier on the wallets of lobster lovers. With great prices on everything from cooked lobster claws to frozen lobster tails, I've been stocking my freezer with 2-for-1 deals and branching out from good ol' lobster-with-bib-and-butter to making things like lobster pasta.

On a Sunday night, I needed something simple, soulful and delicious. I reached into the freezer for a bag of frozen corn and two frozen lobster tails. The rest was embarrassingly easy. And astonishingly delicious.

Lobster and Corn Chowder

Adapted from Epicurious.com.

2 cups chicken stock
2 frozen lobster tails, thawed, or 1 pound freshly cooked lobster
4 cups frozen corn kernels, divided
4 slices bacon, chopped
1/2 cup onion (about half an onion), peeled and diced
1/2 cup diced carrot
1/2 cup diced celery (about 2 stalks)
2 (8-ounce) bottles clam juice
3/4 cup light or whipping cream
3 tablespoons sour cream
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons minced chives (optional)

PLACE chicken stock in a pot with the lobster tails. Cover and bring to a simmer. Cook 6 to 8 minutes, until shell is red and lobster meat is firm. Remove tails with tongs and set aside until cool enough to handle. Pour the broth into a heatproof measuring cup and set aside.

PULL the lobster meat from the shells and cut into bite-size chunks. Set aside. (If using cooked lobster, you can skip this step.)

PLACE the corn in a strainer and rinse under running water briefly until slightly thawed. Place 2 cups of corn and 1 cup of the broth in a blender and puree. Set aside the remaining corn.

COOK the bacon in the same pot until browned and mostly crisp. Remove with a slotting spoon and set aside. Add onion, carrot and celery to the pot over medium heat, cover and cook 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until carrot is soft. (If the vegetables get too dry, add a couple of teaspoons of olive oil.) Stir in the whole corn kernels and the corn puree, then add the clam juice. Cover and simmer about 5 minutes.

STIR in the cream and bring to a boil for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the butter in a small skillet and add the chopped lobster. Cook 1 to 2 minutes, just until warmed through, then add to the pot. Remove from heat and stir in the sour cream.

SERVE, garnished with chives if using.

Yield: 4 servings.



1 comments:

Barbara Lembo said...

I made this on Sat night (thanks to coupons for lobster tails from Earth Fare). It was tasty and we enjoyed it. Simple however it wasn't. While not challenging over all in terms of cookery skills, it did manage to dirty a lot of utensils/equipment/pots. It didn't say what to do with the cooked bacon, so I added it back into the chowder as it didn't make sense to me to waste it, and it seemed fine in the overall flavor of the finished product. Nor did it say what to do with the second cup of leftover broth so I guessed it was to be discarded? Could this same recipe be adapted to the use of shrimp or a solid fleshed fish?