Friday, August 10, 2007

Shrimp and Corn Chowder

Shrimp and Corn Chowder

One day I want to pick corn straight from the field and eat it raw off the cob. Corn starts to lose its sweetness as soon as it's picked so it's never going to taste better than that pure, unadulterated moment. But until that day, the next best thing is to cook it right away after buying it from the store or farmers market. Besides eating it off the cob, sauteing in butter, and freezing leftover kernels, I saved a few ears to make shrimp and corn chowder. I chose a cool, cloudy day to make this so I could fully appreciate the succulent shrimp, crunchy corn, and tender potatoes swimming in the warm creamy soup.

- Broccoli stems are really delicious so don't throw them away. You can use them in soups, stir fries, or Chinese lian ban (cold salad). Peel away the tough, fibrous outer layer and you're left with a mild tasting "heart" that you can slice or cube. This ingredient is optional because many times only the broccoli crowns are sold. If you only have broccoli crowns, go ahead and add more than a handful and add them a little later because cook faster.
- Instead of broccoli, you can add some diced celery, carrots, or red bell pepper. (I only used the broccoli stems and florets when I made this).

Shrimp and Corn Chowder
6 ears of corn, cut off the cob
4 oz. bacon, chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
3 cloves of garlic, pressed or minced
3 Tbsp flour
1/4 tsp of smoked paprika
1/8 tsp of cayenne pepper
4 C chicken stock
2 C milk (if it's too chunky for your tastes, add another cup of milk)
1 lb red potatoes (3), scrubbed and cut into 1/2 in cubes
Roughly 1/2 lb of broccoli stems, peeled and diced into roughly 3/8 in cubes
Handful of broccoli florets, cut into bite sized pieces
1 bay leaf
2 tsp fresh thyme leaves, finely chopped
2 sprigs of parsley
1 lb of medium or large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 C heavy cream, room temp
2 Tbsp of minced parsley
Salt and ground black pepper

Using a knife, cut the corn off the cob into a large bowl. Using the back of your knife or the waffle surface of a meat mallet grate the cob to get all of the corn milk and any remaining kernels into the bowl.

Saute the chopped bacon in a Dutch oven or large saucepan over medium heat, until the pieces are crisp and all the fat has been rendered.

Spoon out the bacon pieces reserving the fat in the pan (if there is over 3 tablespoons you can spoon some out). Reduce the heat to medium to medium low and add the chopped onions (and diced carrots and celery if using). Sprinkle the onions with about half a teaspoon of salt and saute until the onions have softened while scraping up the browned bits, about 10 minutes.

Add the garlic and cook until fragrant. Sprinkle in the flour, smoked paprika, and cayenne pepper and stir constantly while cooking for about 1 minute. Slow whisk in the chicken stock and milk. Add the potatoes, broccoli stems, bay leaf, thyme, parsley sprig, bacon bits, corn kernels, and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Bring up to a boil then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover and simmer the potatoes are almost tender, about 8 minutes (you can add the handful of broccoli crowns after 5 minutes).

Stir in the shrimp and heavy cream, making sure the shrimp get stirred into the hot soup. If the chowder is too chunky for your tastes, add another cup of milk as well. Cover and bring up to a simmer again and cook until the shrimp are just pink, about 2 minutes.

Discard the bay leaf and parsley sprig, stir in freshly minced parsley and salt to taste.


Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

I love corn chowders (and, yes, eating corn in the field is the best experience -- you definitely should do that!). I'd skip the broccoli and add the celery, as you suggest. I'm bookmarking this recipe.

Mari said...

Yum-yummy! Been talking about chowders with another expat girlfriend of mine, and have been on a corn kick, so this recipe is where it's at. I'm going to make this this weekend!

Peabody said...

I love all thinks corn. My husband makes fun of me because often if I find good corn I just eat a meal of corn sauted in butter and cream with lots of sea salt. He thinks I am crazy, I love it.
Your chowder looks right up my alley.

Deborah said...

I am a chowder lover, and this looks so fantastic!!

Karen Baking Soda said...

Planned corn chowder tomorrow evening, just got all ingredients from the store...think of changing it for your recipe!

Wandering Chopsticks said...

What a coincidence. I was just cooking with corn today. I made che bap (Vietnamese dessert soup with corn and tapioca pearls in coconut milk). Mmm. I love corn!

Anonymous said...

This will be a keeper for me, when the weather turns cool.

I don't throw away the broccoli stems too - I use them in fried rice.

Big Boys Oven said...

I adore delicious.

Amy said...

I hope one day I will get a chance to have that experience, it sounds really wonderful. Next time I might experiment with a little red bell pepper too.

Mevrouw cupcake,
Chowders are so comforting, even in summer! Let me know how it turns out.

I'm with you, I sauteed some corn in butter and I was plenty happy eating it with a spoon.

Thank you! I'm a chowder lover too!

Simple corn chowder without the shrimp and veggies is fabulous too. Yum!

Ooh that sounds fantastic too, corn and coconut milk! Yum!

Mm nothing like warm soup in winter. I throw a little broccoli stem in my next fried rice.

Big Boys Oven,
Me too!

Mari said...

I'm in the process as I write this, and just wanted to point out two typos that might prove didn't indicate when to add the parsley sprigs, although I assume that it's meant to go in with the bay leaf and other goodies; and there is no mention of what to do with the bacon, although I assume (again) that it's meant to go back in at the end? I don't think any of this will hinder my chowder in any way, I'm waiting for it to come to it's first boil now, and my mouth is watering!

Anonymous said...

I also bought a bunch of shrimp today...I'm glad I stopped by here! You have made my menu planning simple.

Amy said...

Thanks for pointing those mistakes out to me. I've fixed them in the recipe. Hope you like the soup!

I'm so glad! Enjoy!

kellypea said...

This sounds like such a great recipe. Have most of the ingredients so it may turn out different, but can't wait to try. Thanks!

Unknown said...

Swoon. This looks so good


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