To me, corn and lobster say “summer”. No actually, the more I think about it, they yell “summer”! They are at the height of their delicious goodness all on their own – but marry the two in one stock pot and you truly have a marriage made in “stock pot heaven”! Meet our amazing ‘Corn and Lobster Chowder’.
We first found this recipe over 25 years ago in Craig Claiborne’s cookbook, The New New York Times Cookbook – Corn and Crabmeat Chowder. We loved it. We made this chowder with crabmeat for a long time, and then one day decided to substitute lobster for the crab. We loved it even more.
The real secret to this chowder is great corn. And the secret to great corn is eating it the day it was picked. Taking a trip to your local farm stand is definitely worth it. To check for freshness, “take a peek” at a cob without stripping it, and visually the kernels should be small. And with your nail, if you can pop a kernel, it’s super fresh – if not, don’t buy it.
This chowder is hearty, yet light, and makes for a crowd pleasing “good-bye summer, hello fall” meal that can be enjoyed indoors and out – perfect for this weekend’s Labor Day picnics!
Corn and Lobster Chowder (adapted from Craig Claiborne’s, ‘Corn and Crabmeat Chowder’ recipe)
3 ears cooked corn
5 tablespoons butter
5 tablespoons flour
2 cups fresh or canned chicken broth
2 1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 – 1 pound lobster meat – chopped (depending on how much you love lobster – we love it chock full, so we use 1 pound) – or if you want to try the crabmeat version – 1 container of good quality crabmeat from your seafood market.
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Scrape the corn off the cob (there should be about 1 1/2 cups). Melt 4 tablespoons of butter in a saucepan, stirring with a wire whisk. When melted, add the flour, stirring until blended. Add the broth and milk, stirring rapidly with the whisk. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, melt the remaining butter in another saucepan and add the onion. Cook until wilted. Add the lobster meat (or crabmeat), corn, salt, pepper, and cayenne. Cook briefly and add to the sauce mixture. Add the cream and bring to a boil. Simmer on low for about 5 minutes. Yield 4-6 servings.
To garnish the chowder, we sprinkled chopped fresh parsley (fresh thyme is nice too), and topped it off with one of the small lobster claws. To kick it up a notch, try drizzling a tablespoon of worcestershire, hot sauce, or sherry.
We also like to add a baguette, elegantly sliced on a severe angle, and toasted on the grill – striving for those beautiful grill marks.