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)
  • 1/4 teaspoon of Old Bay seasoning
  • 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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  1. oooh la la mary, this looks wonderful and the weather here in the North has been coooold-today's high was 33 so this is perfect!


  2. this is a wonderful chowder..thanks a lot for recipe!!!

  3. This is on my list to make this week. Love a good chowder when the weather turns a little nippy. Thanks

  4. My oh My! It certainly does look like it would hit the spot for sure! And such an easy one to prepare as wel!!

  5. wow this looks absolutely wonderful and I love the recipe! Thanks so much for sharing! I am a new follower!


  6. Oh. My. God. Must have that right this second. Bring me some!! :-)

  7. It looks great Mary and after reading it and thinking a little I believe it could easily be corn and whatever seafood you want to use chowder. I trying to learn to think techniques, ala Micheal Simon, rather than just recipes.

  8. You are very lucky to have those crab traps. Land locked in Colorado you can imagine the prices. Looks delicious!!

  9. This looks fantastic! My husband's favorite soup is a Crab Bisque from a local restaurant. ($8.95 a cup!) I'm going to try this this weekend to see if he likes it! Thanks!

  10. What an idiot I am!! The carpenter was here the last two days. My husband asked me if I minded making him an apple pie? I was searching my cookbooks for a slightly different one and I NEVER thought to come here! Course my mind is in meltdown anyway lately. I will try your apple for Thanksgiving though....and the "chowdah" looks sooooo good. We know a little sumpin about them up here in Maine! Ha ha

  11. Nice Mary! We had a cool blast too. Keeping in the spirit, I made potato soup!

  12. What a hearty, delicious-looking soup! Perfect for this cooler weather. Looks pretty simple too. 5 stars from me!

  13. I love the crab and corn. In fact I make Corn and Crab Quesadillas which I love, in heavy rotation at home now, lol!! I'm sure I'll love this chowder Mary. Perfect for this blast of cold air we are having right now = )

  14. That looks lovely! I haven't had a big pot of chowder in ages, and the seasonings in yours sound great. We can't easily get hold of good crabs here, but I bet it would work just fine with some other seafood.

  15. Great site. A lot of useful information here. I’m sending it to some friends!

  16. This looks heavenly, Mary. I'm wondering if you could also substitute clams for the crab and maybe leave off the Old Bay seasoning - or would it still need it?! I have two huge cans of clams from Costco and I might as well use one.

    1. Sure! I don't see why that wouldn't be great too. The Old Bay would probably be good with it and though you can certainly leave in the corn, I think I'd want to substitute a couple cans of cream of celery soup for the corn. You'd probably want that thicker too, so I'd reduce the broth as well. Just add enough for the consistency you want. Bet that'd be good - let me know if you try it!

    2. Can you use ham in place of bacon? Or would that ruin the taste? I have a bag of diced ham I'm looking to use up.

    3. Bacon provides more flavor of course because of the fat - ham is much leaner - but it would certainly work! Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

  17. How much shrimp would I sub? Do I sauté the shrimp or anything ?

    1. About a pound of medium small peeled & deveined shrimp, though you could get away with less if your budget is tight, and no you don't have to saute them, although you certainly can! Shrimp cooks quickly though so depending on how long you cook them, you may only need to add them, stir and then serve the chowder!

  18. I made this last night. It was delicious! I made it with crab, but definitely agree this is a versatile recipe and shrimp and chicken would be excellent too.

  19. I made this last night with fresh crab and it was delicious. It also seems very versatile - I think shrimp or chicken would be great too.

    1. Oh yes, absolutely! I'm so glad that you enjoyed the recipe Jill & thanks so much for stopping back by to let me know!!


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