Friday, September 18, 2015

Skinny Shrimp Chowder

There are many that would debate whether you can make a chowder w/o dairy products. While they argue about it, here is a recipe.

2 skin on russet potatoes cubed (cut a slice off the potato so it will be stable enough to cut slabs. Cut the slabs into strips. Cut the strips into cubes.)
1 onion
6 celery heart stalks, diced
1 small red bell pepper, don't cut too small or it will disappear
12 oz uncured bacon, cook, remove the major fat areas, you will end up with about 8 oz.
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
6 cloves dried mild garlic
1 handful roasted corn, (they always look for corn in chowder, roasted has a bit of an attitude)
1 hot pepper, cut in big enough pieces that you recognize it in the spoon
1/3 cup cole slaw mix, unseasoned
1 box unsalted chicken stock
1 minced carrot, (optional if you want a bit of sweetness, keep in reserve, don't add to pot in the beginning)
Put everything in an adequate sized pot, turn it on a low heat, don't spice it, don't think about it for at least 45 minutes and an hour 15 is far better.

20 minutes before serving, rinse 12oz raw, deveined, small tail off shrimp, (try to use something bigger than salad shrimp, I used 60 count and that was about right), add to mixture.
5 minutes before serving add carrot and 2 teaspoons Ivar's tarter sauce NOTE: this is where the "white" comes from, once you add this simmer is the highest temp you can go else you will have little white spotlets. Buy the cookbook and make it, or check this web page for stores that carry it.

Before serving inspect the seasonings and spicing:
Thyme is the ruling spice of a chowder. Fresh is strongly preferred. At least 6 stems, 4 stripped, 2 cut in half and used as garnish.
I like smoked paprika and a bit of white pepper.
If you add tumeric for a golden color, be very conservative.
A little bit of cream of horseradish works for some people, I use it, but in moderation in deference to Kathy.
You can add a tablespoon of a fairly dry white wine, it will not change the flavor of the chowder one bit, but may make you feel French.
Try to avoid the temptation to use lemon, you introduced a bit of Meyer's lemon in the Ivar's tarter sauce, try to hold at that point.
DO NOT use any tomato products, it is illegal, (sort of, but seriously it is not done).
Salt is the last thing you add. People can add more at the table if they want to.

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