Tuesday, January 24, 2012

One Great . . . seafood chowder

Gray, damp and drizzly. Is there a better time than January for a good bowl of chowder? After the holiday party-food sales, I still had a container of crab and a bag of shrimp in the freezer, just waiting for a night that begged for something cozy.

I found this very popular recipe on allrecipes.com and made a few changes, dropping the original servings from 10 to 4, and simplifying some of the ingredients. The seafood is adaptable too: Thaw and peel a handful of shrimp and skip the crab, use crab only, or replace both of them with a chunks of firm fish, such as mahi mahi or even frozen wild salmon.

Corn and Crab Chowder

Adapted from www.allrecipes.com.

2 slices bacon
2 teaspoons butter plus 1/4 cup butter, divided
1/2 onion, peeled and chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons white wine
1/2 teaspoon each dried basil and thyme
Pinch cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons Old Bay
2 cups frozen corn kernels
1 to 2 large potatoes, such as russets or Yukon Gold, peeled and diced
3 cups chicken stock
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup half-and-half
6 to 8 ounces peeled, deveined shrimp (rinsed to thaw if frozen)
6 ounces crabmeat, shell pieces removed

Place the bacon in a skillet and cook over medium-high heat, turning, until browned. Remove to a paper towel, cool, crumble and set aside.

Heat butter in a large Dutch oven or deep pot over medium heat. Stir in onion and celery and cook about 10 minutes, until onion is softened and translucent. Add garlic for the last minute or two.

Pour in the wine and bring to a simmer. Season with the basil, thyme, cayenne, Worcestershire and Old Bay. Add the corn and potatoes, then pour in the chicken stock. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer 10 minutes.

Melt 1/4 cup butter in a small saucepan while soup is simmering. Stir in the 1/4 cup flour and cook, stirring constantly, until flour has turned the color of peanut butter (be careful not to let it burn). Stir into the soup and add the cream, half-and-half, crumbled bacon and shrimp. Simmer about 10 minutes, until the shrimp are cooked through, the potatoes are tender and the soup has thickened. Stir in the crab meat. Taste and adjust seasoning and serve.

Yield: 4 servings.


Ann said...

Sounds delicious! Thanks for the recipe.