|Lobster and Grilled Corn Chowder with Grilled Lemon|
Here’s a great New England style grilled corn chowder that combines what I think are two great central ingredients, sweet corn and succulent lobster. The sweetness of the grilled corn pairs well with the rich lobster meat without being too overpowering. The pop of the sweet corn adds a delicious textural difference as well.
Because of the richness of the ingredients, this chowder adds no cream, opting instead for 1% partly skimmed milk and a classic flour and butter roux to thicken the soup. I don’t like my chowder particularly thick but if you want it thinner you can just add a little more milk or stock at the end to thin it out. If at all possible, use fresh herbs in this chowder; I think the fresh thyme in particular, which was picked straight from my herb garden by the kitchen door, just absolutely makes the dish. The quickly grilled lemon wedges get served with the chowder to be squeezed in before eating for a final layer of flavor and burst of freshness.
This chowder makes a spectacular first course at a dinner party or serve it with some garlic toast and a small side salad as a luxurious lunch. We recently served cups of this chowder to guests at a weekend barbeque and it was very well received by all who sampled it.
Serves 4 to 6
- 1 1/2 to 2 lb lobster, cooked, de-shelled and diced
You can buy your lobster pre-steamed if you like but I like to cook it myself by under cooking by about 5 minutes and then finishing off cooking the lobster by simmering it in the soup. If you are using pre-cooked lobster add it as close to the end of the cooking time as possible so that it does not overcook and become rubbery.
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1 large white onion
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 stalks celery, diced small
- pinch salt
- 1/2 tsp white pepper
Saute together in a medium sized pot over medium heat until the onions begin to soften but not brown, then add:
- 3 to 4 tbsp flour
Cook for a couple of minutes over medium heat stirring constantly. The flour should foam a little but not brown. Quickly stir in:
- 4 cups 1% part-skimmed milk, scalded
- 2 to 3 cups low sodium seafood stock (or low sodium chicken stock)
- 3 tbsp chopped fresh chives
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh thyme leaves
- salt and pepper to season
- 5 -6 ears grilled sweet corn ( just turn it on a hot grill until the surface begins to char, then cut it off the cob with a sharp knife.)
Simmer slowly for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. In the last few minutes of cooking time add the lobster. Serve immediately with lemon wedges that have been charred on a hot grill or cast iron grill pan.