Monday, February 20, 2012

Creole Crab & Corn Chowder – Let the Good Clichés Roll!

It’s so trite to say that something is only as good as the ingredients that go into it. Everyone knows that, right? It’s just common sense. Except, there I was, eating a very good bowl of crab and corn chowder that could have, should have, been very great; but it wasn’t because I didn’t remembered that old cliché.

As I mention numerous times in the video, this would ideally be made in the middle of summer, with ears of fresh, sweet-as-sugar corn. If that’s not seasonally possible (i.e., you’re doing a Mardi Gras themed recipe in winter), you can make a perfectly fine version using a premium-quality, extra-sweet, frozen corn. Or, you can do what I did.

I used an old bag of budget-brand corn I found in the freezer. The odd thing is, I’m not sure where it came from, or what it was purchased for. There are things like vodka and fair-trade coffee beans that somehow appear in my icebox as if placed there by invisible kitchen gremlins (btw, that would make a pretty cool name for a band), and I can only assume that’s how the corn got in there.

So, while I could have just walked two-blocks, and bought an expensive bag of something sweet and delicious, I instead went ahead and used a product that only a prison warden could love. The good news is that even with the almost-flavorless corn, this chowder was very good, so if you do as I say, and not as I clichéd, yours will certainly rock.

If you’re from New Orleans, I’d love to hear if they make anything similar to this. As I admit in the video, this is not my take on some iconic Creole recipe, but a simple soup inspired by those ingredients and style of cooking. Anyway, I hope you give it a try soon, and laissez le bon (corn) temps rouler!

2 tablespoon melted butter
1/2 cup diced onion
1/2 cup diced bell pepper, or jalapeno, or combination of any sweet/hot peppers
1/2 cup diced celery
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon Old Bay
1 1/2 tbsp flour
3 1/2 cup water or stock, divided (2 1/2 for the pot, and 1 cup for the blender)
1 pound sweet corn kernels, divided
2 cloves peeled garlic
8 oz fresh crab meat, divided
1/4 cup cream
1 tsp sweet Spanish paprika, or to taste
green onion to garnish

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