This is how I make lobster chowder. Some other recipes may add corn, or wine, or a variety of seafood. But mine is done simply. With the world’s best lobster, one doesn’t need to add much more.
Nova Scotia is also world renowned for its scallops, so I add some of them. Lobster and scallops are a Christmas Eve tradition in our house, much like many other Atlantic Canada households.
Every Christmas eve we have a lobster supper, and I make chowder to accompany it.
We begin with steaming our live lobsters, partly because they are cheaper if you buy them live, and also they taste better when freshly steamed. My husband steams and shucks the lobsters, while I prepare the rest of the ingredients.
To steam a lobster you need to put about 2 inches of water in a deep pot with 1 tsp salt (or you can use sea water). Since the lobster will continue to cook in the chowder, you do not want to over steam them. Slightly undercooked is better, so steam your 2 lobsters for 10 minutes, with a tight lid in place.
Shuck the lobsters over a mesh strainer covering a bowl. The juices from the lobster, collected in the bowl,is saved and added later to the stock.
2 lobsters, steamed and shucked (you can buy them cooked if you prefer)
½ lb baby scallops (or more, this is a matter of preference)
I large potato, diced (about 1 cup)
1 small onion and one shallot, minced (about ½ cup)
2 stalks celery, diced
½ tsp ground cayenne pepper
½ tsp ground paprika
Fresh dill, chopped (about ¼ cup)
1 cup chicken stock
Reserved lobster juices
2 cups 10% cream (blend cream)
½ cup 10% cream whisked with 1 tbsp corn starch
2 tbsp butter
Heat the butter in a small stock pot and add onions, celery, and shallot. Cook until they begin to soften then add stock, lobster juices, and potatoes. Cook on medium heat for 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low (#3 on the dial) and add cayenne pepper and paprika.
Add scallops and dill and cook another 5 minutes until scallops begin to look more opaque.
Add lobster and the 2 cups of cream, and cook for a final 5 minutes, turning heat back up to medium for the last 2 minutes of cooking. At this time, stir in the remaining ½ cup of cream-cornstarch mixture, to slightly thicken.
Remove from heat and let cool in pot. Chill for a few hours in the fridge, then reheat gently before serving. Add a dash of Tabasco sauce or freshly ground pepper just before serving.