The other day I told you about the miserably oppressive heat we've been having here in South Florida. What I didn't tell you was how sluggish, listless and grumpy I've been feeling as a result. At least, that's what my family tells me. I don't usually pay much attention when Mini SGCC tells me I'm being a big meanie. She's a teenager, so what can I say? It's part of her job description. When Mr. SGCC gets into the act, then I know there must be something to it.
Now, I know it's probably hard for you to believe that I'm not always the cheery, perky, charming and loveable blogger that I portray on the Internet, but dear readers, it's true. Little Mary Sunshine, I am not. Sometimes, I am downright crabby! Crabby, crabby, CRABBY! And, running around in 95 degree heat all day long makes me even crabbier. I swear, I can actually feel pinchers growing where my fingers used to be!
Since I'm looking at another several months of this extreme weather, not to mention hurricane season, I've decided to embrace my crabbiness. Celebrate it, if you will. And, what better way to do it than with this deliciously creamy, smoky, sweet and spicy Crabby Corn Chowder. It's chock full of chunky potatoes, smoky chipotles, onions, fresh sweet corn and succulent morsels of crabmeat, all swimming around in a creamy and buttery seafood broth. It's like heaven in a bowl! Plus, the whole dish can be made in one pot in under an hour.
You can serve this chowder as a first course, but it's substantial enough to make it a meal. Serve it alongside some crusty bread and a tossed salad and you're all set.
My Crabby Corn Chowder didn't make the temperature any less sweltering, but it definitely improved my mood!
Crabby Corn Chowder
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons butter
3 Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and diced
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 large sweet yellow onion, chopped
2 dried bay leaves
1/4 cup chili peppers in adobo sauce, pureed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
3-5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups clam juice or fish stock
4 cups half-and-half or whole milk
4 cups fresh corn kernels, scraped from the cob (frozen is okay too)
1 pound fresh lump crab meat
1/4 cup dry sherry (optional)
Hot sauce for serving (optional)
Heat a deep pot over medium heat. Add oil and butter. When butter is melted, add potatoes, celery, onion, bay leaves and chipotle peppers to the pot. Season vegetables with salt and pepper, mix well and saute until tender, about 10 minutes.
Sprinkle in flour and cook about 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in clam juice and half and half and mix well.
Bring soup up to a simmer and continue to simmer for about 20 minutes, or until potatoes are soft.
Stir in corn, crab and sherry and simmer for another 5 minutes, until heated through.
Adjust the soup seasonings and remove the bay leaf. Ladle soup into bowls and top with a few dashes of hot sauce, if desired.
Serve with some crackers, crusty bread or cornbread.
Serves 6 as a first course and 4 as a main course.