Crab Chowder

crab chowder

First off, it’s a good soup. Creamy, spicy, crabby… all good stuff. The bell pepper is a standout flavor. It’s not *too* crabby, and the texture can’t be beat. This recipe is adapted from Rachel Ray and I am wholly satisfed with the result. Very pretty. Very tasty.

But what I really want to talk about is oyster crackers. Today a friend asked me (regarding cooking), “Are you more interested in the process or the product?” I’m here to tell you, process is a big part of it for me. If the process is right, the product will follow. So many things that used to be produced are now simply procured. Candy corn, graham crackers, marshmallows… these are not found in the wild. These are *produced*. So goes the oyster cracker. A lowly garnish in loving hands becomes a thing of beauty.

So along with this soup recipe, I include a recipe for the stately oyster cracker. So easy to make an oyster could do it. I bet that’s where the name comes from.

One more thing. The bowl you see in this picture is borrowed. Today a co-worker was sanding the bottoms of bowls and plates in the kitchen at work to keep them from scratching the tabletops. I know, right? With this one freshly sanded and stacked, it was suggested that in might look nice in one of my “soup pictures”. I think they’re right.

Crab Chowder


3 slices of bacon, chopped

2 russet potatoes, peeled and cubed

1 onion, chopped

2 celery stalks, chopped

1/2 red bell pepper, chopped fine

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1 bay leaf

3 tbsp flour

1 c chicken broth

3 tablespoons white wine

3 c whole milk

6 ounces lump crabmeat

2 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped

1/4 tsp oregano

1/4 tsp paprika

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

Fresh chives to garnish


In heavy saucepan, cook bacon at med-high to crisp. Remove bacon set aside.

Pour off some bacon grease, leaving bottom of pan thoroughly coated.

Add potatoes, onion, celery, salt, pepper, and bay leaf. Cook 10-12 minutes (until soft).

Mix four in a little water and add to pot. Stir until integrated.

Add broth and wine. Stir 2 minutes, deglazing pot. Reduce heat.

Add milk, crab and spices and simmer 10 minutes until thickened.

Ladle into bowls. Garnish with chives, reserved bacon and oyster crackers.


Oyster crackers


2 1/4 c flour

1 tsp dry yeast

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp cream orf tartar

3/4 c lukewarm water

2 tbsp shortening


Place all ingredients in stand mixer and mix using dough hook 5-6 minutes until supple ball forms.

Let rise 10 minutes.

Place on lightly floured surface and roll out to 1/8-1/4 inch thick.

Using smallest biscuit cutter, cut and place discs on ungreased baking sheet.

45 minutes at 300 degrees.

Originally: Crab Chowder

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