Start off the fall season with a warm bowl of Lobster Mushroom Chowder. Lobster mushrooms have a meaty texture and the bright red color of a steamed lobster. This spin on the classic North American seafood chowder pairs well with oyster mushrooms and Old Bay seasoning. Dried Lobster Mushrooms are used in this recipe because they are available all year around and keep a great flavor. Fresh Lobster Mushrooms can be substituted.
Lobster Mushroom Chowder
1 ounce dried lobster mushrooms
3.5 cups vegetable stock
1 tablespoon and 2 teaspoons butter
1 pound fresh oyster mushrooms, chopped
2 teaspoons seaweed flakes
2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 medium onion, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1/4 cup fennel bulb, diced
1 tablespoon neutral oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoons fresh thyme, minced
1 teaspoons fresh dill, minced
1 tablespoon All-Purpose Flour
2 yukon gold potatoes, diced
2 bay leaves
3/4 cup cream
4 ounce coconut milk
2 teaspoons Tabasco Sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
Place vegetable stock in a medium sauce pan over high heat. Bring to a boil and turn off the heat. Rehydrate lobster mushrooms in the boiled stock by adding the dried mushrooms and letting soak for 15-30 minutes.
Remove the rehydrated mushrooms from the stock. Save the broth for later. Dice the mushrooms.
Melt one tablespoon of butter in a large pot over high heat. Add the lobster mushrooms and the oyster mushrooms. Stirring occasionally, cook the mushrooms for about 5 minutes or until they stop releasing moisture. Add one teaspoon of seaweed flakes, one teaspoon of Old Bay seasoning, and one teaspoon of smoked paprika. Mix the spices into the mushrooms and cook for another 5 minutes or until the mushrooms start to stick to the bottom of the pot. Deglaze the pot by adding a cup of the vegetable stock and scraping the bottom of the pot. Remove the mushrooms and stock from the pot and set aside for later.
Return the pot to high heat and add the onion, celery, fennel, and neutral oil. Stir occasionally and cook for 5 to 6 minutes or until the onion starts to brown. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about one minute. Add the rest of the seaweed flakes, Old Bay seasoning, and smoked paprika (one teaspoon each). Cook for another 2 minutes or until you can smell those spices too. Add the thyme, dill, and mushrooms. Sauté everything together for 4 minutes.
After adding the herbs and mushrooms and while they are cooking, create a roux in small sauce pan by melting the remaining 2 teaspoons of butter and slowing stirring in the flour until it is fully incorporated.
Add the roux, remaining stock, potatoes, bay leaves, cream, and coconut milk into the large pot. Mix to combine everything and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 25 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked.
Finish the chowder with tabasco, salt and pepper. Enjoy!