Thursday, August 15, 2013

Summer Corn Chowder with Herbed Lobster Salad, Cinnamon Pancetta, Crumbled Goat Cheese, & Fresh Chives

Summer Corn Chowder with Herbed Lobster Salad, Cinnamon Pancetta, Crumbled
Goat Cheese, & Fresh Chives
I know what all of y'all are thinking... soup in the summer? Someone check this girl out because she might be feverish. But seriously, this "chowder" is so versatile, you'll be making it all year long. In fact, I first made this soup last week and it only lasted about 12 hours in our refrigerator, so I didn't get to take a picture of it. Oh shucks, I had to whip up another batch... that's just soooooo devastating. Actually this soup is best in the summer when you can use that sweet, sweet corn that you found at the local farmer's market. There are two ways that you make this soup... rustic/slightly chunky or a smooth puree. We tried it both ways and actually ended up liking the batch with more texture (and even better, it required less work... winning). If you want it to be more "summer-friendly", this dish is great cold... almost gazpacho-ish. Now here's where things get insane. You get to top off your chowder with a big ole' pile of herbed lobster salad. This lobster component is bangin' because you toss big chunks of the buttery meat with mustard, lemon, a tad bit of mayo, celery, and a whole bunch of herbs. It's kind of like the filling of a "naked" lobster roll. Everything is rounded out with some crispy bits of cinnamon pancetta, creamy crumbled goat cheese, and a fresh zip of a bunch of homegrown herbs. This corn chowder exists in such balance between all of its parts + additions. I hope all of y'all enjoy this summer soup as much as we did!! Enjoy :)
skewering the lobsters before they are grilled
rubbing down the tails with some compound butter
lots of toppings + lobster
herbed lobster salad. cinnamon pancetta. crumbled goat cheese. fresh chives + basil.
Ahhh sweet summer corn at its' finest :)
Our Dinner: Summer Corn Chowder + Southern Cornbread Panzanella Salad
For the Summer Corn Chowder:
½lb Thick Cut Smoked Bacon or Pancetta, Cut into Cubes
¼t Cinnamon 
¼C White Wine
4T Unsalted Butter
1 Small Vidalia Onion, Finely Chopped
2 Stalks of Celery, Finely Chopped
1 Large Carrot, Finely Chopped
4 Cloves of Fresh Garlic, Finely Chopped
8 Ears of Fresh Summer Corn, Kernels Cut Off
1Q Seafood Stock + 1C Water
1t Turmeric
Heavy Pinch of Ground Nutmeg, Cumin, & Ground Mustard
4 Sprigs of Thyme
2C Heavy Cream
½C Sour Cream
Sea Salt, Fresh Cracked Pepper, & Sugar (to taste)

For the Herbed Lobster Salad:
2C Freshly Cooked Lobster Meat, Cut into Large Chunks
1 Small Shallot, Finely Minced
2t Fresh Lemon Juice + 1t Fresh Lemon Zest
1t Dijon Mustard
1T Mayo
2T Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3T Fresh Celery Leaves, Roughly Chopped
1T Fresh Tarragon, Roughly Chopped
1T Fresh Basil, Roughly Chopped
Salt & Pepper, To Taste (and the addition of a pinch of sugar for sweetness)

For the Soup Garnishes:
Cinnamon Pancetta or Crispy Bacon Lardons
Crumbled Goat Cheese (we like Humboldt Fog)
Fresh Minced Chives
Prepared Herbed Lobster Salad
Fresh Cracked Pepper, For Garnishing
Extra Virgin Olive Oil, For Drizzling

1. For the Summer Corn Chowder: In a large soup pot, add in the diced bacon or pancetta and sprinkle the cinnamon over the top and cook over medium heat until the pork is crispy and fat has rendered. Bring the pot up to medium-high heat and add in the wine to deglaze the pot, removing the flavorful brown bits from the bottom. Add in the butter and melt completely. Add in the diced onions, celery, carrots, and garlic and sauté until tender, about 6-8 minutes. You want them to begin to caramelize, but not brown. Next, toss in the fresh corn kernels and season with salt & pepper. Cook for another 5 minutes or so until they have softened slightly. Throw in the sprigs of fresh thyme, seafood stock, water, turmeric, and all other spices. Bring the corn mixture to a boil, and then reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Once the soup has cooked and softened, puree the corn soup into smooth chowder with an immersion blender or a regular blender. After it has been pureed, return the pot to the stove and stir in the heavy cream and sour cream. Season the soup to taste, making sure to add any more spices that are needed. This is where you have to decide whether you want a slightly chunky soup or very smooth bisque. If you want smooth bisque, strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl, pressing on the solids to get out all liquids. Discard the solid afterwards. We chose to leave it slightly chunky because we liked the texture, but it’s up to you! You can serve the soup hot or cold, but with the herbed lobster salad, the soup is best chilled (like a gazpacho).
2. For the Herbed Lobster Salad: Whisk shallot, lemon juice, lemon zest, mustard, and mayo in a medium bowl. Gradually whisk in 2 tablespoons oil; season dressing with kosher salt and pepper (and a pinch of sugar if you like). Add in 2C of cooked lobster meat, 3 tablespoons celery leaves, tarragon, and basil; toss gently to coat. Cover and chill until cold, about 1 hour.
3. Serving the Soup: Divide the summer corn chowder into serving bowls evenly. Sprinkle the top of the soup with the crispy cinnamon pancetta, crumbled goat cheese, fresh minced chives, a drizzle of olive oil, and fresh cracked pepper. Finish the soup with a large pile of herbed lobster salad in the center and enjoy with a glass of white wine.

No comments:

Post a Comment