4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large starchy potato, peeled and chopped
2 celery ribs with their greens, chopped
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
½ red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 bay leaf, fresh or dried
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon Old Bay Seasoning
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup dry sherry
3 cups chicken or seafood stock
12 ounces lump crab
1 10-ounce box frozen corn kernels
3 cups whole milk or half-and-half
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 corn toaster pastries, such as Thomas' brand
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
Heat a medium soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the EVOO and the 2 tablespoons of cold butter, cut into small pieces. Add the veggies, then season them with the bay leaf, salt, pepper, and Old Bay Seasoning.
Cook for 5 minutes to begin to soften, then add the flour and cook for a minute longer. Next, add the sherry and cook for 1 minute. Whisk in the stock and bring it up to a bubble,
then arrange the crab and corn in an even layer around the pan. Cover the pan and cook about 2 minutes, to heat through.
Remove the lid and add the milk and cook for 2 to 3 minutes longer to thicken. Add about 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, then adjust the seasonings. Discard the bay leaf.
Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper in a small cup. Toast the corn pastries, brush with cayenne butter, and sprinkle with the chopped chives. Serve alongside the chowda.
This is the variation to the Seafood Newburg Stoup. I made this recipe early this morning so I could take it to the church potluck. I was afraid no one would eat it because it is soup, and they needed to get an extra bowl in addition to their plates in order to eat it. I was surprised that all but about 1 serving got eaten up! I guess people liked it. I used the expensive crab, so they should have! I didn't make the cayenne-buttered-chive cornbread. They had bread at the potluck. I ate a helping of it at the potluck, and I didn't like it as much as yesterday's soup, but it was good. I think the corn and the peppers gave it a sweetness that I just didn't like as much.