A midweek splurge on a half-pound of sweet lobster meat elevates this quick chili bowl. But the same amount of jumbo lump crabmeat or diced, cooked shrimp would be an acceptable substitute.
What can make a big difference is freshly made chili powder. It'll cost you an extra few minutes: Combine 6 tablespoons sweet paprika, 2 tablespooons ground turmeric, 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, 1 teaspoon dried oregano (crumbled), 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves. Store in an airtight container; you'll have more than enough for the Lobster Chili.
Serve with warmed cornbread sticks or foccacia; enjoy with a glass of semi-dry Riesling or Gewurztraminer.
- 3 medium shallots
- 2 medium cloves garlic
- 1 medium yellow bell pepper
- 2 ribs celery
- 8 to 10 ounces cooked lobster meat (from 2 lobster tails)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 15-ounce can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 to 3 tablespoons homemade or store-bought chili powder (see headnote)
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 1 cup fish stock (may substitute 1/2 teaspoon seafood base seasoning paste mixed with 1 cup very hot water)
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
Mince the shallots and garlic; stem and seed the bell pepper, then finely chop it and the celery (about 1 cup each). Cut the cooked lobster meat into large dice.
Heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat until it shimmers. Add the minced and chopped vegetables; cook for 6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they have softened. Add the kidney beans, chili powder and tomato paste; cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. The mixture will be thick; add the stock, stirring to combine. Cook for 8 minutes, stirring often. Add the water and cook for 1 to 2 minutes.
Add the diced lobster meat and the cream, stirring gently to combine. Cook for 1 minute, or just until those ingredients are heated through. Taste and adjust the seasoning as necessary. Divide among individual bowls; serve hot.
Adapted from "Killer Chili: Savory Recipes From North America's Favorite Restaurants," by Stephanie Anderson (Chronicle, 2007).
Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.
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