As a native New Englander, nothing says “eat me” quite like a good bowl of lobster-corn chowder. This recipe may seem like a lot of work, but trust me, it goes fast and you will soon add this to your regular rotation of ‘impressive’ dinners. Serve it as an entrée, with some local farmstead cheeses, a crisp salad, and lots of crusty bread.
Lobster and Corn Chowder
2 qt. fresh fish stock (or chicken stock)
3 lobsters, 2 lbs. each
3 T. clarified butter
3 c. mixed fine-diced celery, rutabaga, leek, and onion
1 T. chopped garlic
bouquet garni of fresh tarragon, thyme, and parsley
3 T. tomato paste
1 t. Old Bay seasoning
1 c. brandy
1/2 c. white wine
6 corn cobs, peeled and kerneled, plus the kernels from those ears
1 lb. diced new potatoes
3 c. heavy cream
Bring a large pot filled with the fish stock in the bottom to a boil and steam the lobsters for 6 minutes. The meats will only be halfway cooked in some places. Cool for 15 minutes. Extract all meat from shells. Remove lungs from lobster body, reserving the bodies. Cut or break all shells into small pieces using a utility shears and a shellfish cracker. Dice all lobster meat and save all the tomalley and roe. Refrigerate meat, roe, etc. in bowl. Strain broth and reserve.
Place a large soup pot over medium heat. Add 2 T. of the clarified butter, half the mixed, diced vegetables, garlic, herbs, tomato paste, Old Bay seasoning, and lobster shells. Sauté until vegetables wilt and tomato paste begins to caramelize but not burn. Keep stirring to prevent scorching of the shells. Add brandy. When nearly evaporated, add wine. When nearly evaporated, add broth and corn cobs. When soup begins to boil, reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook for 1 hour. Remove cover and continue simmering for 20 minutes. Strain soup, pressing down on all the solids. Place empty soup pot back on the stove over medium heat. Add remaining butter and vegetables,the corn kernels, lobster meat and roe/tomalley products, and potatoes. Sauté until vegetables are wilted. Add the strained lobster-corn broth. Bring to a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes. Add the cream. Bring to a simmer. Cook for 5 minutes, season, and serve. Garnish with minced parsley and snipped chives. Serves 4-6.