CRAB CORN CHOWDER
Lisa Martain Hoffer
[Ed: Lisa showed up with soup, husband, and two darlin’ daughters in tow, and even though Sheila forgot to bring her the frilly apron she requested, a good time was had by all. Including me, historically not the biggest fan of crab. The frantic crab boils of childhood have left scars that may never heal. But this blend of crab, corn, and bacon is just right; smoky-sweet and creamy, with just enough briny bite from those poor, doomed crustaceans. Says Lisa, “I’ve never written this recipe down. I cook it off the top of my head as I go but this should be about right. Enjoy.”]
Ingredients6 strips of bacon, chopped but not bac’n-bit small 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped 3 tablespoons of butter 3 tablespoons of flour 3 1/2 cups unsalted chicken broth 3 medium russet potatoes, peeled and chopped into small cubes 1 tablespoon of salt 1 cup of crabmeat, fresh or canned (reserve fluid if canned and add to chicken broth) 2 cups of corn kernels (frozen or cooked) 2 1/2 cups of half and half
Wilt bacon and onions together in large pot until bacon is cooked but not crispy and onions are soft.
Add butter until melted, then add flour, mix thoroughly, and simmer roux on low for about a minute.
Stir in 3 cups of chicken broth and bring to a boil until liquid thickens.
Add potatoes and salt and lower heat to medium. Cook about 20 minutes, or until potatoes are firm but done.
Add crabmeat and corn; simmer on medium-low for another 10 minutes.
Stir in 2 cups of half and half and slowly bring to a boil until soup thickens more. Half and half will burn easily at this stage so be careful to stir regularly and watch your heat. End result should be quite thick and creamy.
Add a little extra chicken broth if soup is too thick. For thicker soup, stir 1 tablespoon of cornstarch into 1/2 cup of half and half, add to soup, and bring to a slow boil. Again be careful — soup burns easily after cream is added. Stir slowly to avoid burning or breaking up potatoes. Turn off heat and let rest for 20 minutes. Garnish with dried tarragon or fresh flat-leaf parsley.