Corn Chowder With Rice Beans, Chayote And Crab

Course : Beans
Serves: 6
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1 cup rice beans (or other very small white beans)
1 medium Onion -- halved, stuck with
2 cloves garlic
1 piece bay leaf
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion -- diced
1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
3 cloves garlic -- minced or pureed
12 medium jalapeno chiles -- seeded and minced
2 cups corn kernels -- from about 6 ears
2 quarts vegetable stock -- see * note (or use chicken stock or water)
2 medium chayote squash -- diced
2 medium roasted red bell peppers -- peeled, seeded, -- and diced
1/2 pound lump crabmeat -- picked over
1/2 cup crema -- see * note (or creme fraiche or sour cream)
1/2 Cup minced chives -- for garnish

Preparation / Directions:

* Note: See the "Vegetable Stock" and "Crema" recipes which are included in this collection. Soak rice beans in cold water 8 hours or overnight. Drain, rinse and drain again. Place soaked beans in a medium heavy pot with enough cold water to cover by an inch. Add cloved onion halves and bay leaf. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer very gently 30 minutes. Add 1 teaspoon salt, and cold water to just cover the beans if necessary. Cook an additional 20 to 30 minutes until beans are creamy inside but still intact. Remove onion and bay leaf and reserve. Heat olive oil in large kettle over high heat. When smoking, add diced onions, 1 teaspoon salt, and freshly-ground pepper. Stir and cook 5 minutes until softened. Add garlic and chiles and cook one minute to release their aroma. Add corn kernels, stock or water, chayote, and rice beans with the cooking liquid. Bring to a boil, turn down heat and simmer 15 minutes. Stir in peppers, crab, and Crema and warm through. Serve garnished with minced chives.

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