Spiced Crabmeat and Corn Chowder

4 T. butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 ribs celery, diced
1 russet potato, peeled and cut into ½” dice
1 jalapeno pepper, cored and diced
¼ cup flour
2 cups half and half
2 cups clam broth
1 tsp. Old Bay seasoning or Cajun seasoning
8 oz. crabmeat (1/2 lb.)
2 cups frozen corn kernels, thawed slightly
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 tsp. kosher salt
Garnish: Old Bay seasoning, chopped cilantro and ¼ lb. crabmeat (optional)

In a 4-quart saucepan, heat butter and sauté the onion and celery until soft, about 2 minutes on medium heat. Stir in the potato and jalapeno pepper. Cover; “sweat” the vegetables for 2-3 minutes, until potatoes are tender, not quite cooked through, stirring often.

Stir the flour into vegetables; cook 1 minute on medium heat. Whisk in the half and half, broth and Old Bay seasoning. Simmer on low heat for 3-4 minutes, allowing the chowder to thicken slightly, whisking often to prevent lumps and flour sticking to bottom of pan. Stir in crabmeat, corn, cilantro, and corn. Cook on low heat for 2-3 minutes, until corn is heated through. Taste for seasoning. Serve at once with a sprinkle of Old Bay seasoning on top, chopped cilantro and a small mound of crabmeat. Serves 4-6.