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Crab & Corn Chowder

1 TBSP vegetable oil or extra virgin olive oil
3 TBSP butter
2 all-purpose potatoes, peeled diced
2 ribs of celery, chopped
1 medium Vidalia onion, chopped
1 small red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 fresh bay leaf
1 TBSP. Old Bay seasoning
3 TBSP all-purpose flour
2 cups chicken broth
1 QT whole milk
3 1/2 cups corn kernels
8 oz. cooked, lump crab meat
Oyster crackers (optional)

Heat a deep pot over moderate heat.
Add oil and butter.
Add chopped potatoes, celery, onion and red bell pepper.
Add bay leaf.
Season vegetables with salt, pepper and Old Bay seasoning.
Saute veggies for 5 minutes.
Sprinkle in flour and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
Stir in broth and combine.
Stir in milk and combine.
Bring soup to a bubble.
Add corn and crab meat.
Simmer for 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Remove bay leaf.
Ladle soup into bread bowls or soup bowls and top with oyster crackers, hot sauce and sliced scallions.

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