Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Lobster Corn Chowder and Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

I have been searching for a good soup recipe for quite some time now and this one leaped out at me.  Not jumped, leaped.  Yup. 

Actually, I watched Robert Irvine make this (actually, it was his protege) on the Food Network channel, and it looked so good.  I made it last night, and it was good.  Two out of my three kids loved it - can you guess which one did not?  Ha! 

Also, I LOVE to have soup paired with grilled cheese sandwiches.  I love a grilled cheese sandwich old school - with cheap white bread and American cheese.  But, that seems most appropriate with tomato soup, don't you think?  This time, I was craving something a bit different.  With this chowder, I decided to use a roasted garlic artisan bread that I had leftover from Costco (gotta love that place!) and some leftover Gruyere cheese.  It was a perfect accompaniment to chowder!

For the chowder itself, I tweaked a few things to make it an easier weeknight meal. 

Lobster Corn Chowder
Original Recipe by Robert Irvine
Adapted Recipe by Kitchen Groovy

  • 2 lobster tails, split in half
  • Generous squeeze lemon juice
  • Pinch cayenne
  • 1/2 teaspoon seafood seasoning (recommended: Old Bay)
  • 2 tablespoons mascarpone cheese
  • Salt
  • 4 C frozen corn kernels
  • Canola oil
  • Salt
  • 1 cup chopped bacon
  • 1/2 white onion, diced
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, cut into small dice
  • 1/2 orange bell pepper, cut into small dice
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 3 Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into small dice
  • 2 cups heavy cream
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
For the chowder:
In a deep pan, heat 1 tablespoon oil over low heat and add the bacon. Cook until the bacon is crisp. Remove the bacon to a paper towel and pour most of the bacon fat out of the pan.
Return the bacon to the pan, add the onion and celery, and cook over medium heat until the onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Add the red and orange pepper, garlic, and corn, and cook 5 more minutes.
Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and stir. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the chicken stock and stir to scrape up any brown bits from bottom of the pan. Stir in the diced potatoes and raise the heat a little to bring the mixture to a simmer.
Simmer the chowder until the potatoes are cooked, about 20 minutes. Stir occasionally to avoid burning the bottom of the chowder.
Taste the potatoes. When the potatoes are fork tender, turn the heat down to low and slowly stir in the cream. Add another pinch of cayenne if you want to give it a kick.  Keep warm on low heat.

For the lobster: (do this while the chowder is simmering)
Bring a pot of water to a boil. Remove the lobster tails from the shells and put into the boiling water. Poach for 2 minutes. Remove the lobster and set aside to cool.
Once cooled, chop the lobster and mix with the lemon juice, cayenne, seafood seasoning, and mascarpone. Taste and add salt, if needed.
Grilled Cheese Sandwich:
- 1 loaf of your favorite artisan bread, sliced
- Gruyere Cheese, sliced
- Olive oil
Assemble sandwiches and brush with olive oil.  Place on a baking sheet in a 350 degree oven for 8-10 minutes, or until cheese is melted.  Serve with soup and enjoy!
Instead of slicing the sandwich in half, slice them a few times, so you end up having a grilled cheese "stick" - it's fun and makes it easier to dip and eat!

Please click here for a printable version of this recipe - Kitchen Groovy

Enjoy and live with gusto!

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