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Marti's Music Kitchen Episode 7: Cooking with Ken DeRouchie

By MARTI MENDENHALL // Ken DeRouchie and Marti making Ken’s Spicy Seafood Corn Chowder, a finely tuned recipe of Southern Creole cooking with a dash of Ken’s Pacific NW Flair.

On this episode of Marti’s Music Kitchen, we have Ken DeRouchie, Musician and Producer. He is also founder of the high-energy, 8-piece Ken DeRouchie Band. These outstanding performers of Funk, Soul and R&B have earned 4 “Muddy Award” nominations and have had three successful radio singles, including “Keep on Walkin’” and “Hangin’ With My Baby.” This year also marks the 5th Annual Ken DeRouchie Band Food Drive

“I decided 5 years ago that I wanted to try to do something for the community.  The thing that I kind of latched on to was the Oregon Food Bank.  I think we got about eighteen hundred pounds of food donated last year, and then we had close to $2500 in donations,” says Ken.  “So that, for just the one year, the total came out to something like 12,000 meals.”

For over 35 years, Ken has perfected his recipe-making and culinary skills, with a focus on a New Orleans-Style of cooking. On today’s show, we're making Ken’s Spicy Seafood Corn Chowder, a finely tuned recipe of Southern Creole cooking with a dash of Ken’s Pacific NW Flair.

What culinary secrets and song-writing super-powers does Ken have to share?  Check out this episode of Marti’s Music Kitchen – and let’s find out!





Ken’s spicy seafood corn chowder


1 Quart Half & Half

1 Quart Heavy Cream

2 cans of whole kernel corn (or, 6 ears of corn roasted on the grill)

1 can creamed corn

2 sticks of butter

1 cup of flour

2 Poblano or Pasilla Peppers (roasted on the grill)

1 Medium Yellow Onion

5 celery stalks

Salt & Pepper to taste

1/3 cup of sugar

Chili de Arbol (seasoning)

1 Lb. Raw, peeled and deveined shrimp

2 raw lobster tails

1-2 tablespoons of “Better Than Bouillon Lobster Base”


 Make sure shrimp is thawed, peeled and deveined. Put in a bowl and store in the fridge until needed.

 Making the Base

Add the half & half and heavy cream to a large pot on medium heat. Add 1-2 Tablespoons of Lobster Base and whisk in. Drain 2 cans of corn (or cut the corn off of the 6 ears) and add to the pot. Add creamed corn to the pot. STIR REGULARLY, I recommend a wire whisk. Add sugar and continue to stir. Add about 1 Tsp. Chili de Arbol and mix well. Add more to your desired heat level. (I personally use a lot more) Continue to stir regularly. Once the pot begins to simmer, reduce heat to low.

Roast the peppers on a gas or coal grill. Lightly char all sides of the peppers until you can easily peel them. Once peeled, core and de-seed the pepper and chop into small pieces and add to the pot.

 Peel and quarter the onion and put it in a blender. Clean and chop each piece of celery into 4 pieces and add to the blender. Add water to the blender and puree for about 20 seconds. Use a tight weave strainer and strain the liquid out of the puree. Take the pulp/puree that is left and add it to the pot. Continue to stir regularly.

 Making a Roux

 Melt 2 sticks of butter in a pan over medium heat. Do not let it burn. Once the butter is melted, add 1 cup of flour. Mix until it is smooth and creamy. Constantly mix this so the butter doesn’t burn. Add this mixture to the pot and stir in. Stir for about 2 minutes. This will thicken the liquid into a thick, hearty chowder. Continue to stir regularly.


Lay the lobster tails on a cutting board with the bottom of the tail facing up. Use a sharp knife to cut a line, top to bottom through the bottom layer of scales. Peel back the shell and scoop out the meat. Cut the tail meat into small pieces. Do not add this until about 5 minutes before you’re ready to eat.

Add the Seafood

Once everything is mixed and you have the right flavor and thickness you can add the shrimp and lobster. Add the shrimp and lobster 3-5 minutes before you are ready to serve. It cooks very quickly.  Don’t put the seafood in too soon or it will become overcooked and rubbery.

 Serve with warm crusty bread.





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