Award-winning crab and corn chowder

September 30, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
Nick Smith learns the secret behind award-winning crab and corn chowder from a San Francisco staple! Steven Connolly of Blue Mermaid Chowder House & Bar in San Francisco shares this recipe.

Award Winning California Dungeness Crab and Corn Chowder
Awarded Three Times By The Schweppes Great Chowder Cook Off in the Creative Category

(Makes about 12 cups for a first course or 6-8 for a main course)

  • 4 ounces Applewood Smoked Bacon
  • 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter
  • 1 cup corn
  • 2 yellow onions, diced
  • 1 Pasilla Chili, diced
  • 1 Jalapeño Pepper, split in half, seeds removed
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. Old Bay Seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp. Chipotle powder
  • 4 sprigs thyme, stem removed, leaves chopped
  • 1 fresh bay leaf
  • 1 Quart Crab Stock
  • 2 lbs. Kennebec potatoes, ½" diced
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 oz. cream cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground white pepper
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • 1 lb. fresh Dungeness crab meat
  • 1 bunch cilantro, diced and chopped
  • 1/2 cup olive oil

Method:

Chowder

Over low heat, add smoked bacon to a 4 to 6 quart heavy pot. Slowly render the fat and then increase the heat to medium to make the bacon crisp. Remove the bacon from the pan and set aside. Leave about half the bacon fat in the pan.

Add the butter, and sauté the corn. After 4-6 minutes, remove the corn from the pan. Add the onions, sauté until translucent. Be careful not to brown, about 4-6 minutes. Add pasilla and sauté an additional 4-minutes, remove from the pan. Add celery, sauté 2-3 minutes. Then add garlic and continue to sauté for an additional 2-3 minutes.

Add the onion, corn, pasilla and bacon to the celery. Add Old Bay, Chipotle powder, split Jalapeño pepper, thyme and bay leaf. Just barely cover the vegetables with crab stock and then add the diced Kennebec potatoes. Increase the heat to high and boil the potatoes vigorously for about 4 minutes. The goal is to soften the outside of the potato to help thicken the chowder, while keeping the potato al dente.

Add the heavy cream and cream cheese. Stir for two minutes and then remove from the heat. If you need to thicken the chowder a little more smash a few of the potatoes against the side of the pot.

Adjust the seasoning with salt and fresh white pepper. Remove the Jalapeño pepper before serving.

Cilantro Pesto

  • 1 bunch cilantro, washed, dried and chopped
  • Approximately 1/2 cup of olive oil-purée in a blender

To Serve

Place Chowder in a bowl, add 1 -2 oz. of crab meat and garnish with cilantro pesto.

About Blue Mermaid Chowder House & Bar
Blue Mermaid Chowder House & Bar makes its home in the heart of Fisherman's Wharf. A menu, priced for the whole family, features fresh seafood with a regional focus and a great kids' menu.

www.bluemermaidsf.com


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