Lobster Chowder with Roasted Peppers and Sweet Corn

1 chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
2 shallots, chopped
1 to 3 teaspoons fresh ground chili powder
¼ teaspoon white pepper
¼ teaspoon cumin
2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes or 14-oz can chopped tomatoes and juice
¼ cup white wine
1-1 lb. lobster tail, split down the underside of shell
½ cup unbleached all purpose flour
2 cups rich lobster stock or 2 tablespoons lobster soup base combined with 2 cups water
3 cups fat free half and half, Land OLakes
¼ teaspoon saffron threads
2 large potatoes coarsely chopped and boiled until tender but still firm
1 ½ cups sweet corn fresh or frozen
1 roasted red bell pepper, chopped
2 tablespoons whipped butter

1. Cook/boil potatoes in 2 to 3 cups water until almost tender, drain and set aside.

2. Preheat a 4 to 6 quart Dutch oven or stockpot on medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Sauté onion, shallots and garlic together with chili powder, pepper and cumin until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Add tomatoes and wine and bring to a gentle simmer. Add lobster tail to mixture and cover for 5 to 7 minutes until lobster shell has turned pink. Remove cooked lobster tail from pot and set aside to cool a few minutes before removing meat and chopping coarsely.

3. Reduce heat to medium low and rapidly stir/whisk flour into vegetable mixture about 3 tablespoons at a time, adding lobster stock when mixture begins to get to thick to stir easily. (Without enough liquid, the flour becomes difficult to blend with the vegetables.)

4. Stir in any remaining lobster stock into vegetable mixture followed by fat free half and half until well blended. Add saffron to mixture and continue to cook simmer stirring frequently until thickened, about 15 minutes. Remove pot from heat and transfer ingredients to a blender or food processor. Process mixture until smooth and return to pot over medium low heat.

5. Add potatoes, corn, peppers and lobster meat to chowder stirring frequently until all ingredients are heated through about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in butter and adjust seasonings if necessary before serving. Do not overcook or lobster meat as it will become tough; adjust seasonings and serve.

Yield: About 8 1 1/4 cup servings at approximately 258 calories; 2.6 grams total fat; 1.1 gram saturated fat; 58 milligrams cholesterol; 38 grams carbohydrate; 3.3 grams dietary fiber; 17 grams protein; 861 milligrams sodium.

Compare with traditional recipe at 373 calories and 20 grams fat per same amount serving.

Recipe from the cookbook, Lighten Up – The Art of Low Fat Gourmet Cooking, by Mary E. Ross

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