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Corn and Crab Chowder

1 TBSP. vegetable oil
2 TBSP. butter
2 potatoes, peeled and diced
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper
1 TBSP. Old Bay seasoning
3 TBSP. flour
2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1 quart whole milk
3 cups corn, fresh or frozen
8 oz. fresh lump crab meat
4 small bread bowls,    hollowed out, preferably sour dough

Heat a stock pot over moderate heat.
Add oil and butter.
Add the chopped veggies, and bay leaf.
Season with salt and pepper and Old Bay seasoning.
Saute 5 minutes, then sprinkle in flour.
Cook flour for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
Stir in broth and combine.
Add the milk; mix well.
Bring soup up to a bubble then add the corn and crab meat.
Simmer for 5 minutes.
Adjust the soup seasonings.
Remove bay leaf.
Ladle soup into bread bowls and top with oyster crackers, hot sauce and sliced scallions.
Serves 4.

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