Fresh sweet summer corn and lobster are on display in this creamy New England chowder, subtly spiced with cayenne and black pepper. Restaurateur Cary Wheaton was inspired to create this chowder for her friends and neighbors one summer while vacationing at the seaside Massachusetts town of Westport.
- (2) 2 lb. live Maine lobsters
- 1 large stalk celery, roughly chopped
- 1 medium carrot, roughly chopped
- 1 sprig fresh parsley
- 1 bay leaf
- 5 black peppercorns
- 1⁄4 lb. salt pork, diced
- 3 medium yellow onions, peeled and diced
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 1 1⁄2 lb. red potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2″ cubes
- 4 cups fresh corn kernels (cut from about 6 ears)
- 3 cups half & half
- Cayenne pepper
- Salt and freshly ground white pepper
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add lobsters and cook for 8–10 minutes. Remove lobsters, reserving cooking liquid, and run under cold water. Remove meat (discard tomalley and coral) and cut into small pieces. Return shells and 10 cups reserved cooking liquid to pot.
- Add celery, carrot, parsley, bay leaf, and peppercorns to cooking liquid, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 1 1⁄2 hours. Strain broth through a sieve into a large saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat until reduced to 6 cups, about 10 minutes. Set aside.
- Cook salt pork in a large pot over medium-low heat until crisp, about 20 minutes. Remove, drain on paper towels; set aside for garnish. Cook onions and garlic in rendered fat over low heat until translucent, about 20 minutes.
- Add potatoes, corn, and reduced broth to onions, increase heat to medium, and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in half-and-half and a dash of cayenne and return to a simmer. Add lobster meat and simmer (do not boil) until heated through, 3–5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls and top with reserved salt pork.