Former House Speaker Tip O’Neil was Speaker of the United States House from 1977 to 1987. As a Congressman he represented parts of Boston and Cambridge. He famously was quoted as saying that “All politics is local”.
O’Neal and his family summered for years on the Cape. Speaker O’Neil would spend as much time as he could at his Harwich Port home when the House of Representatives was in summer recess. Speaker O’Neil was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1952. He was elected to John F. Kennedy’s former House seat when Kennedy was elected US Senator in 1952. According to Christopher Settlerlund’s wonderful book, Historic Restaurants of Cape Cod, Speaker O’Neil enjoyed having dinner with the family at The Sword and Shield Restaurant in Harwich, now only a memory.
Legend has it that the Speaker would order the Lobster and Corn Chowder. Here is a recipe for Cape Cod Lobster and Corn Chowder that we think would please the Speaker.
Cape Cod Lobster and Corn Chowder
2 c. Lobster meat cut up ½ inch in small pieces
2 slices bacon, chopped
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
2 onions, chopped
4 cups unsalted chicken stock
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. sweet paprika
2 Tbsp. flour
2 large russet or Yukon gold potatoes, diced
Few sprigs of fresh thyme
1 cup Half and Half
3 ears fresh corn, cut from the cob
1 cup red pepper chopped
4 scallions, white and green parts, sliced on the diagonal
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
½ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
Melt the butter and cook the bacon in a large pot until crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove the bacon to a small plate. Add the onions and cook, until softened. Add flour and cook until mixture starts to thicken. Add the chicken broth, paprika, thyme, and bay leaf and bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the potatoes to the broth and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Add the half-and-half, corn, bell pepper, and scallions, and cook until the peppers and scallions are softened, about 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper. Remove bay leaf and add the lobster meat. Heat over low heat for 5 minutes and garnish with parsley and bacon.