Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Crab and Corn Chowda

From Rachael Ray: 365 No Repeats

2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
4 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 large starchy potato, peeled and chopped
2 celery ribs with their greens, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 bay leaf, fresh or dried
salt and fresh ground black pepper
1 Tbsp Old Bay Seasoning
3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1/4 C dry sherry
3 C chicken or seafood stock
12 ounces lump crab
1 10oz box frozen corn kernels
3 C whole milk or half-and-half
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
4 corn toaster pastries (such as Thomas' brand)
2 Tbsp chopped fresh chives

Heat a medium soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the EVOO and 2 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small pieces. Add the veggies as you get them chopped, then season them with the bay leaf, salt, pepper, and Old Bay Seasoning. Cook for 5 minutes to begin to soften, then add the flour and cook for a minute longer. Next, add the sherry and cook for 1 minute. Whisk in the stock and bring it up to a bubble, then arrange the crab and corn in an even layer around the pan. Cover the pan and cook until the crab is cooked through. Remove the lid and add the milk and cook for 2-3 minutes longer to thicken. Add about 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, then adjust the seasonings. Discard the bay leaf.

Melt the remaining butter and cayenne pepper in a small cup. Toast the corn pastries, brush with cayenne butter, and sprinkle with the chopped chives. Serve alongside the chowder.

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