Jan’s brother is still visiting and Jan wanted Crawdaddy Corn Chowder. On Sunday the Crawdaddy restaurant does not open until noon. This would push lunch to 2 PM, the time they should start thinking about makeing the drive back to Fresno. I talked her into a variation that does not require a restaurant purchased starter.
As usual, I cannot follow my own recipes. This is one of those dishes that I am constantly tinkering with. Today’s big changes are to substitute Chinese chili oil (La-Yu) for the cayenne and adding some gumbo filé (ground sassafras bark). I also decided not to use my immersion blender, so to thicken the soup I added some roux.
Karl’s Seafood Corn Chowder 2
4 Tbs. unsalted butter, separate uses
1 large onion, diced fine
2 leeks, chopped fine
1 stalk celery, diced fine
1 large potato, diced fine
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
15 drops, La-Yu (Chinese chili oil)
2 (15 ounce) cans fat-free chicken broth (or crayfish boil if available)
2-3 ears of corn, niblets removed
8 oz. scallops
1 Tbs. celery leaves, minced
1 1/2 cups 1% milk
¼ cup half-and-half
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 Tbs. Gumbo Filé
12 oz. langostino
2 Tbs. flour
1. Prep all ingredients before starting to cook.
Tip: If your celery has leaves, mince and reserve them to put in at the end. These leaves are fairly bitter. If you add them at the beginning they make the entire dish bitter, but if you add them in at the end it only adds a subtle bitterness.
2. Heat a saucepan over a medium high heat and sauté the onions until transparent in two tablespoons of butter until they are starting to pick up some color, about 5-8 minutes.
3. Add the leeks and continue sautéing, about another 5 minutes.
4. Add the potato, celery, bay leaf and continue cooking for 4 more minutes.
5. Add the marjoram, 15 drops of La-Yu, corn and chicken broth and bring to boil, cover, reduce heat and cook until potato is soft, 8-10 minutes.
6. Add the scallops and continue stirring until almost cooked, about 4 minutes.
7. Add milk, cream, celery leaves, and freshly ground pepper. Heat the soup over a medium-high heat until hot, but not boiling. Reduce the heat to low.
Tip: If you boil the soup after you add the milk it will curdle.
8. Add the langostino and gumbo file. Simmer for 5 minutes.
9. In a small skillet or pot melt the remaining butter,
10. When the butter has stopped foaming, add two tablespoons of flour and cook over medium heat to make a roux.
11. When the rue is a nutty brown add a cup of the soup and stir until smooth.
12. add this back into the pot and stir to combine.
13. When the soup has thickened serve with La-Yu on the side for people who like theirs hot.