Corn Chowder with Dungeness Crab Recipe

Macrina, the famous bakery-cafe in Seattle's Belltown neighborhood, becomes a wonderful urban lunch counter at midday. This soup is an ideal example of the simple, satisfying noontime fare. The base of the soup is a corn stock made from simmering the corn cobs with onion and some of the kernels. Sweet and briny crabmeat is the perfect addition to the corn chowder, which is garnished with a cilantro salsa seasoned with lime and roasted jalepeno. 1 Tablespoon olive oil

1/2 medium yellow onion, sliced

4 cups water

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 ears corn, shucked and broken in half

1/3 cup half-and-half

3/4 cup Dungeness crabmeat (about 5 ounces) SPICY CILANTRO SALSA 1 jalapeno chile

2 plum (roma) tomatoes, cut into medium dice

1/3 cup chopped cilantro

1/4 cup diced red onion

Juice of 1 lime

1 clove garlic, minced HEAT THE OIL in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the yellow onion and cook, stirring often, until tender and translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the water and 1/4 teaspoon salt, then add the ears of corn. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook just until the corn is tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Take the pan from the heat, use tongs to remove the ears, allowing excess water to drip back into the pan, then set the corn aside on a plate to cool for about 5 minutes. Cut the kernels from the cobs and return half of the kernels and all of the cobs to the pan. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes. WHILE THE SOUP IS SIMMERING, make the salsa. Roast the jalepeno over a gas flame or under the broiler, turning occasionally to roast evenly, until the skin blisters and blackens, about 5 minutes total. Put the chile in a plastic bag, securely seal it, and set aside to cool. When cool enough to handle, peel away and discard the skin. Remove the core and seeds and mince the jalepeno. Combine it with the tomatoes, cilantro, red onion, lime juice, and garlic in a medium bowl. Stir to mix well and season with salt. Set aside. TAKE THE COBS from the soup base and discard. Puree the soup, in batches, in a food processor or blender and return the soup to the pan. Add the half-and-half and remaining corn kernels and bring just to a boil. Stir in the crabmeat and season to taste with salt and pepper. LADLE THE SOUP into warmed individual bowls, spoon some of the spicy cilantro salsa into the center of each, and serve. Makes 4 servings

 
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