Tuesday, January 02, 2007
Roasted Corn and Crab Chowder
For the last several years we've spent a week or so vacationing on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Peaceful, deserted and quiet, OBX provides the perfect spot to rest up and recharge our batteries as the summer winds down and the last third of the year looms on the horizon.
Our one complaint about OBX is probably the lack of really good restaurants. Sure, there are some nice shore-type establishments, but few places that you'd make a special trip to check out.
The one exception to that statement is the Austin Creek Grill located at the end of Hatteras Island. Set in a shopping center next to the Ocracoke Ferry, Austin Creek is the one place we must visit each year.
A few years ago we went for dinner and had a Roasted Corn and Crab Chowder that was simply out of this world. Ironically, the restaurants chef had provided the recipe to The Island Breeze, a local weekly newspaper. We promptly ripped the recipe from the pages and brought it home.
On New Year's Eve we finally got around to making it and I have to say that it was well worth the wait. Since I'm getting ready to heat up the last of it for my lunch I figured this would be a good time to post the recipe for our readers.
- 4 ears sweet fresh corn
- 3 oz. applewood smoked bacon, diced
- 1 stick butter
- 4 celery stalks, finely chopped
- 1 med. white onion, finely diced
- 2 large cloves garlic, minced
- 3/4 cup flour
- 2 oz. sherry
- 1 oz. fresh basil, sliced
- 1 quart water
- 1 quart stock (lobster, shrimp, fish or chicken)
- 1 can coconut milk, 14.5 oz.
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 tsps. chili powder
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. pepper
- 1 lb. lump crabmeat
- Garlic croutons (for garnish, optional)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees, place corn on foil lined pan, brush with oil and roast in the oven for 30 minutes until lightly browned. When cool enough to handle remove kernels from cob and set aside. You should have about two cups.
In a large, heavy soup pot saute bacon until crisp, remove from pot and set aside. Add butter to pot and melt. Add celery, onion and garlic and saute until tender. Add roasted corn and stir together.
Add flour to make a roux, cooking and stirring for 10-12 minutes being careful not to burn the roux.
Add sherry, basil, water and stock. Whisk until roux dissolves in stock. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring to prevent sticking. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 1 hour.
Add coconut milk, cream, chili powder, salt and pepper. Simmer on low for an additional hour.
Remove from heat and puree all with a hand blender. Add crabmeat to the pureed soup and serve in bowls. Crumbled cook bacon slices and add as garnish. Can also be garnished with sliced basil leaves or garlic croutons if desired. Yield: 10 servings.