Summer is such a wonderful time for food, especially in New England! We have delicious sweet corn and incredible cold water lobsters a plenty. This past 4th of July weekend we were lucky enough to have both! I even bought some extra corn and had some left over lobster so I decided to create a version of what New Englander’s are known for… chowder! Lobster and corn brought together with a creamy broth, what could be better?
I grew up in the small New England town of Westport, Massachusetts. Westport is both a fishing and farming community. Some of the biggest of those two industries has always been lobster, dairy and corn. All of these essentials are found in this dish. Who says you can’t go home again?
You’ll want to start by shucking about 8 ears of fresh corn and placing them in a pot.
Then cover the corn in cold water. Bring to a boil and shut it off… Let it sit in the water to cool a bit. (The fresher the corn, the less time it needs… but, don’t forget this will also boil again later) One it is done boiling, reserve about 1 1/2 cups of the cooking liquid for later.
Place a small ingredient bowl inverted in a larger bowl… You’ll want to make sure your larger bowl can accommodate the kernels of 8 ears of corn… This method makes for so much less mess!
Now prop up a cob of corn on top of that little ingredient bowl. If you don’t find it to be stable enough, just cut off the very bottom.
Now, carefully run you your knife down the length of the corn cob… be sure your fingers are out of the way!
Now, this is a very important step… take the back of your knife and firmly run it down your naked cob. You are essentially creaming the corn by doing this.
Here is what you are left with :)
Before you begin, you will want to also boil a potato with salt and garlic, chop and reserve. Just one.
Start your soup by building your base, which is your veggies, but first you’ll need to render some bacon so that you have fat to cook your veggies in. So, cook until crisp.
Drain your bacon on a couple of paper towels. Reserve the bacon fat in the pot.
This is a shallot… a rather large shallot actually. It is a milder cousin of the onion. Because I find this to be a more delicate chowder, I didn’t want to overwhelm the flavor with onion.
Chop the shallot as you would an onion.
Saute the shallot over low heat in the reserved bacon fat.
Get one red bell pepper and halve and seed it. I like the sweetness of red bell pepper, you can use which ever color you like best.
Chop it up and add it in to the sauteing shallots.
Measure about a quarter cup of all purpose flour.
Add flour to the sautéed veggies.
Stir in that flour and cook for a minute or so.
Add all the corn you’ve prepared to your soup pot.
That corn cooking liquid you reserved goes in now. I run it through a strainer just to catch any stray corn silk.
Here is my left over lobster, isn’t he cute?
Pull off his legs. There is lots of yummy meat in those legs, but I have no patience to get all that meat out for this purpose.
So what I do is throw them right in the soup pot. This serves two purposes. First of all, it gives your cooking liquid a bit of seafood stock. Second, you can serve these right with your chowder and people can suck the meat out of them should they so choose. Now is the time to add in your potato as well.
Now, remove the body and discard. (I don’t put the body in the soup pot because there is too much mush for my taste). Shell all this lobster.
Once you have shelled the tail, you can pull off the back of the tail as I have done here and remove that vein. Some people don’t bother with this step, I just do. It’s up to you.
Now chop up the meat you have reserving the claw pieces to top your chowder if you so choose.
Add the chopped lobster to the soup pot to heat through.
When all your ingredients have hung out together for a few minutes… Add in half a quart of light cream.
Chop and crumble bacon into the soup pot.
Add salt and pepper to taste. I like a good amount of fresh cracked black pepper.
Add a couple dashes of white pepper.
Add some sliced scallions, oyster crackers, the reserved lobster claw, serve and enjoy!
Recipe for Lobster Corn Chowder:
1 boiled lobster, shelled and chopped
8 ears of corn, boiled
1 1/2 cups corn cooking liquid reserved
1 large red potato, cooked and chopped
1 large shallot chopped
1/2 red bell pepper seeded and chopped
3 slices bacon
rendered bacon fat reserved
1/2 quart light cream
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. white pepper
kosher salt to taste
fresh cracked black pepper to taste
2 scallions chopped
oyster crackers or saltines
Prepare potato by boiling in salted water and one clove of garlic (optional). Prepare lobster by boiling or getting it steamed from your fish monger. Prepare corn on the cob by shucking and bringing to a boil, reserving 1 1/2 cups corn cooking water. Cool these ingredients so they are easy to handle.
Next shell and chop lobster. Reserve lobster legs. Remove corn kernels from cob and cream from cob as well (demonstrated above). Chop potato. Set aside all ingredients for when they are needed.
Render bacon fat, reserve fat in soup pot. Set aside bacon to drain on paper towel. Sautee shallots and bell pepper in the bacon fat over low heat for about 5-6 minutes until tender. Add in flour. Cook flour for a minute or so, stirring. Add in corn. Stir. Add in corn cooking liquid. Stir. Bring to a simmer. Add in lobster, potato and lobster legs. Stir. Pour in light cream. Stir. Add in white pepper. Add in salt and black pepper to taste.
(If you would like to make this recipe gluten-free, swap out all purpose flour with corn starch)