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When making lobster chowder, there are a number of possibilities a chef may want to consider. It is up to him whether or not he would like to use precooked lobster meat or cook it at home. A chef may also want to use different methods of cooking lobster chowder other than boiling, such as baking or using a crock pot. When making lobster chowder, a chef may need to take into account dietary restrictions of other diners and apply the necessary changes to the recipe. These changes may include substituting cream with a dairy free alternative, like coconut milk.
Many specialty supermarkets, as well as conventional and national stores, carry lobster meat either cooked or raw. At times, live lobsters may be purchased to cook at home, giving a chef the option of using fresh seafood in a recipe. Purchasing lobster meat for lobster chowder is the easiest method, and only requires mixing in with the other ingredients, like the potatoes, corn and cream. If using fresh and live lobsters, these can be boiled separately to cook the meat prior to mixing all the ingredients together.
Flour is the main thickening ingredient used in lobster chowder, as it acts as a binder when combined with the liquid from the seafood broth and, in some cases, wine. Whisking the flour in with melted butter before adding the broth is recommended in most recipes. After adding the broth, it should slightly thicken within a few minutes, depending on the heat level at which it is cooking. This stove top step is essential when cooking lobster chowder; however, when simmering the remainder of ingredients, a crock pot, the oven with a safe proof baking dish, or the stove top can be used.
Most lobster chowder recipes call for the use of heavy cream, as this gives the dish a rich and creamy texture, and also adds flavor. For those who are watching their calories or fat intake, replacing this cream with half-and-half or even milk will work, but it will impact the flavor and texture slightly. Coconut milk is a popular option to replace heavy cream, as it is lower in calories, safe for lactose intolerant eaters, and still exhibits the same creamy texture as regular dairy cream. Many dairy-free creamers are also available on the market, giving further options to health conscious consumers and chefs.
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