You can make lots of variations using this same basic recipe – all you really need to call it “chowder” are the dairy and potatoes. If you like spice, try adding a jalapeno, if you don’t like crab, or have an allergy, use haddock instead. How about scallops and shrimp, without the corn? Or just corn – but add some other veggies for more color and flavor? Experimenting is (at least!) half the fun, once you conquer a recipe. (You can also make it dairy free!)
5 T Butter
1 Medium Onion, diced
2 Stalks Celery, diced
1 clove Garlic, minced
? C Flour
½ C Dry White Wine
3 C Water or Stock (I used 3C water with 1½ teaspoon Better Than Bouillon Lobster Base)
2 Medium Potatoes, cut in ½” – 1” cubes
1 C Frozen Corn (you can use canned, or even creamed corn for lots of flavor)
8 oz Crab Meat, fresh, frozen or canned (if you use frozen, defrost it first!)
1 C Cream or Half & Half (add more if your chowder is too thick)
1 tsp Salt (if you use a salted base, as I did, cut back a little on the salt)
¼ tsp Nutmeg
¼ tsp Pepper
2 T Fresh Parsley, chopped
Crumbled bacon for garnish
**If you are dairy free, make this the same way, except for the butter and half & half. Use avocado oil in place of the butter, and add a little more water to thin it out if necessary instead of using cream.
- Melt butter in a 4 quart (or larger) saucepan, and add in onion, celery and garlic. Sautee gently until onions are translucent.
- Add flour and stir in, cooking for about 2-3 minutes. (Do not let it turn brown!)
- Pour in wine and stir, then add water/stock one cup at a time. Adding the liquid slowly and whisking in between will keep it from clumping.
- Add potatoes and frozen corn. (If you are using canned corn, add it in the next step.) Bring your chowder base to a boil, and turn down to simmer until the potatoes are cooked through, about 8-10 minutes.
- Turn the heat to low, and add crabmeat, cream and seasonings. Stir in and let cook for about another 3-5 minutes.
- Remove from heat and stir in fresh parsley, Serve hot and garnish with some bacon crumbles (optional).
Pairs well with No Knead Bread!