Clam chowder, fish chowder, corn chowder. . .
New England chowder, Manhattan chowder, closer to Virginia it’s Hatteras chowder. . .
Every once in a while this New Englander craves a good hot bowl of chowder. With snow on the ground and ice cycles hanging from just about everywhere in Virginia Beach, good company, a fire in the fireplace and a bowl of chowder make for a pretty cozy evening.
So, with what was available in the pantry I set out to cook up some New England comfort food. No clams, no fish, but a pound of shrimp turned up in the fridge thanks to Oli. Some potatoes, tomatoes, and frozen corn kernels went into the pot and the end result was pretty darn good Saturday night comfort food. We uncorked a bottle of crisp Gruner Veltliner, settled by the fire, and this happy New England Yankee shared a steaming bowl of chowder with my equally happy Icelandic friend.
Chowder for a Saturday Night
splash of olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 very large onion, finely chopped
2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
5 meaty plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 cups fish stock
5 medium red potatoes, cut into bite size pieces
2 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 1/4 cups frozen corn kernels, thawed
1 pound fresh shrimp, shelled and deveined
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1. In a large soup pot, heat olive oil and butter over medium heat.
2. Toss in onion, garlic, and cayenne. Cook and stir until onions are translucent.
3. Throw in tomatoes, bay leaf.
4. Pour in fish stock, increase heat to high and bring to boil.
5. Potatoes go in next. Reduce heat back to medium, cover and cook until potatoes are tender but not falling apart.
6. Pour in milk, and cream. Add corn and shrimp and cook until shrimp are pink.
7. Salt and pepper to taste
New England chowder is traditionally served with oyster crackers. I wasn’t going to venture out in the cold just for oyster crackers, and this really isn’t a “traditional” New England chowder, so we crunched up some stone ground wheat crackers instead. We also topped each bowl with an extra drizzle of cream. Hey! This is comfort food 🙂
Just how cold was it? See for yourself.