Friday, November 5, 2010

Corn and Crab Chowder

A nicely seasoned chicken stock based chowder made with a small roux,     sauteed veggies, potatoes, corn, half and half and sweet blue crab.
A nicely seasoned chicken stock based chowder made with a small roux, auteed veggies, potatoes, corn, half and half and sweet blue crab.

Corn and Crab Chowder

We've had a quick shot of wintry weather in The Deep South, for at least a few days anyway, and a good chowder made with corn, crab and a little cream, really hits the spot when that cold weather blows in. It's been such a hot fall that as much as I love them this time of year, thinking about soups, stews and chowders has been hard to do frankly. Leave it to The South to go from beach weather to frost in about 8 hours! Apparently we decided to just pass by fall altogether - gotta love The South! Course, we'll be back to beach weather in no time, which explains why my garden looks like a laundry right now, with sheets and blankets strewn across many of my plants.

This is the easiest dish to throw together, and to be honest the amount of crab is pretty relative. Use what your budget will allow. I am lucky. My father-in-law has crab traps set about in the Gulf, and when he gets home from his worldly work travels, he goes out and checks the traps. My wonderful mother-in-law painstakingly picks those crabs herself, and then is so kind to offer The Cajun and me glorious bags full of already picked, fresh lump crab. She is so generous in that respect about, well, everything really. Have I mentioned how much I love my in-laws? Anyway, the point being, use the amount of crab your budget allows. If you can afford a full pound of lump crab, then by all means go for it because it is worth every penny. Ever picked a single crab of meat? If you have, you already know it's worth the price.

Though there is a small roux in this chowder, I like to also use a can of creamed corn together with either fresh, canned, or frozen whole kernel corn. The creamed corn helps to contribute to the creaminess of the chowder base, and since The Cajun loves creamed corn, and I love corn fritters, so it's a pantry staple in our house anyway.

This is a delicious, flavorful chowder, not too rich thanks to the use of half and half instead of heavy cream, and is just perfectly heart warming for these cooler days ahead. I hope that you enjoy it.

Recipe: Corn and Crab Chowder

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 10 min
Total time: 25 min
Yield: About 4 servings

  • 4 slices of bacon, cut up
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 3/4 cup of chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup of chopped celery
  • 1/4 cup of all purpose flour
  • 2 cups of chicken stock or broth
  • 1-1/2 cups of diced raw potato
  • 1 can of whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 can of creamed corn
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 5 turns of the pepper grinder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Cajun seasoning (like Slap Ya Mama {affil link})
  • 1/4 teaspoon of Old Bay seasoning {affil link}
  • 2 cups of warmed half and half
  • 1 pound of fresh crab, picked over for shell, (set aside a few pinches for garnish)
  • 1/4 cup of sliced green onion
  • 1-2 tablespoons of dried parsley
  • Reserved crab and extra sprinkle of Cajun seasoning, for garnish

Cut the bacon into small pieces and saute until cooked but not crisp. Add the butter, onion and celery and cook until tender, about 4 minutes. Stir in the flour, until well blended. Cook and stir for about 5 minutes to cook the flour. Stir in the broth a little at a time until mixture is smooth. Add the potatoes, increase heat and bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring several times. Stir in the corn, seasonings and half and half. Bring back up to a boil, reduce back to a simmer and gently fold in the crab. Stir in green onion and parsley; simmer for about 10 minutes or until crab is warmed through. Garnish with a pinch of crab and a sprinkle of Cajun seasoning.

Cook's Notes: Because I live on the Gulf Coast, I have easy access to fresh crab meat. Substitute pouches or well drained cans of crab as needed. The amount is relative - use what you have access to and what your budget will allow. Can also substitute shrimp in this recipe. Of course, if you're making this in the midst of fresh corn season, definitely use fresh shucked, corn cut right off of the cob in place of the canned whole kernel corn. It is especially good when roasted in the oven first. Clean, brush generously with butter and roast in a 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes. Let cool and cut off the husks. Can also substitute frozen corn.

Tip: To easily pick out any shell, spread crab on a baking sheet in a single layer and place in a 200 degree oven for 3 minutes. The shell will be visible and easy to pick out.

Variation: Substitute shrimp or crawfish for the crab, or use chicken instead of seafood - you'll want to eliminate the Old Bay and use 2 to 3 cups of cooked, shredded or chopped chicken. Eliminate the protein and Old Bay and make this a plain corn chowder, increasing the corn, if desired.


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Posted by on November 5, 2010

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