I managed to get crabs last week. No really, I got crabs. And they were only $5 a pound! That’s like the same price as ground beef! So, with prices like this, crab is on the menu. Typically when we have crab, I heat it up, break off the legs and claws and serve them for dinner along with some French bread. (I save the bodies for my own use.) This time the body meat makes its way to a hearty crab chowder.
3 crab bodies, cleaned, reserving shells for stock
4-5 bay leaves
1 teaspoon mustard seed
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorn
2 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 carrots, diced
3 celery stalks, diced
4 potatoes, peeled and diced
½ onion, diced
2 ounces beer
2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1 tablespoon freshly chopped green onion
¼ cup freshly chopped parsley
4-5 leaves fresh sage, chopped
¼ teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon paprika
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
2 cups milk
2 cups heavy cream
salt and pepper to taste
Clean crab bodies. Over high heat, place all shells, bay leaves, black peppercorn and mustard seed in a sauce pan and cover with water. Cook until mixture comes to a boil, reduce heat to medium and let simmer while preparing the rest of the dish. This water from this will be used in the chowder.
Meanwhile….In a large pot over medium heat, melt butter and olive oil together. Add in carrots, celery, potatoes and onion. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until onions are translucent and potatoes begin to soften.
Stir in beer. Let simmer a few minutes. Stir in 1 cup of strained crab stock, garlic, green onion, parsley, sage, thyme, paprika and nutmeg. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and stir in milk and cream. Stirring frequently, cook until thickened. If chowder is too thick, add a little more crab stock.
Taste your chowder and add salt and pepper chowder to taste. Once flavor is all good, stir in crab meat and cook until crab meat is heated through.
Serve with a little French bread.