Corn, Crab and Shrimp Chowder

Serves 10 to 12. This is a wonderful Andrew Zimmern recipe from Food and Wine, and if you're really ambitious, make the stock, it's worth it. Plenty of cream and butter make this chowder irresistibly rich and creamy and a perfect foil for a liberal sprinkling of Margot's Morsels in Simply Sea Salt, Primo Parmesan, or any morsel flavor you prefer.

  • 6 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
  • 1 pound large shrimp, shelled and deveined, shells reserved
  • 3 ears of corn—shucked, kernels cut off and cobs reserved
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
  • 1 large yellow bell pepper, cut into 1/3-inch dice
  • 1 large yellow onion, cut into 1/3-inch dice
  • 3 celery ribs, cut into 1/3-inch dice
  • 1 serrano chile, minced
  • 2 large baking potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/3-inch dice
  • 1 pound lump crabmeat, picked over
  • 1 quart heavy cream
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Snipped chives, for garnish

In a large pot, bring the stock to a boil with the shrimp shells and corn cobs. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove the cobs. Strain the stock into a large, heatproof bowl, pressing on the shells to remove as much liquid as you can.

In a small skillet, toast the celery and fennel seeds over moderately high heat until fragrant and starting to pop, about 45 seconds. Let cool completely. In a spice grinder or mortar, grind or crush the seeds to a powder.

In the stock pot used wipe clean, melt the butter over moderately high heat. Add the yellow pepper, onion, celery and chile and cook until they begin to soften, about 2 minutes. Add the ground fennel and celery seeds and cook for 1 minute. Add the potatoes and stock and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 8 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Stir the shrimp and crabmeat into the chowder. Cover and let stand until the shrimp turn pink on the outside, about 3 minutes. Stir in the heavy cream and corn kernels. Bring to a simmer over moderate heat; immediately reduce the heat to low and simmer gently until the shrimp are white throughout, about 3 minutes.

Ladle the chowder into bowls and garnish with chives. Serve topped with Margot's Morsels.

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