Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Seafood Chowder

This is another recipe from Ina Garten's Barefoot Contessa Parties. I was trying to decide what to make one night and I remembered my friend Carrie had brought me over some of this delicious chowder. I thought I might have all the ingredients in my fridge or freezer..and I nearly did. It turned out delicious...the girls love seafood and this was a hit.

Seafood Chowder (makes 3 quarts)

1 pound large shrimp (32-36 per pound), peeled and deveined (save shells for stock) [so I thought I had raw shrimp from trader joe's... turns out they were cooked - but the shells worked just fine. The shrimp was less tender than I would have preferred...but it worked given I didn't want to run out and go shop]
1/2 pound scallops [I had this in the freezer also from trader joe's - very tender]
1/2 pound monkfish [I had tilapia in the freezer from I used it it worked fine - although monkfish is also delish]
1/2 pound fresh lump crabmeat, picked over to remove shells [this was the one of the ingredients I didn't have on hand]
1/4 pound unsalted butter
1 cup peeled and medium-diced carrots (4 carrots)
1/2 cup medium-diced onion (1 onion)
1 cup medium-diced celery (3 stalks)
1 cup medium-diced small white or red potatoes
1/2 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 recipe Seafood Stock (recipe follows)
1 1/2 Tbs heavy cream (optional) [I used milk - didn't have cream]
2 Tbs minced parsley [didn't have this either - not even the dried seasoning]
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Cut the shrimp, scallops, and monkfish into bite-sized pieces and place them in a bowl with the crabmeat.

In a heavy-bottomed pot, melt the butter; add the carrots, onions, celery, potatoes, and corn and saute over medium-low heat for 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are barely cooked, stirring occasionally. Add the flour; reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring often, for 3 minutes. Add the Seafood Stock and bring to a boil. Add the seafood; reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 7-10 minutes, until the fish is just cooked. Add the heavy cream, if desired, and the parsley. Add salt and pepper to taste, and serve.

Seafood Stock (makes about 1 quart)

2 Tbs good olive oil
Shells from 1 pound large shrimp
2 cups chopped yellow onions (2 onions)
2 carrots, unpeeled and chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup good white wine
1/3 cup tomato paste
1 Tbs kosher salt
1 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
10 sprigs fresh thyme, including stems [I didn't have this when I made it]

Warm the oil in a stockpot over med heat. Add the shrimp shells, onions, carrots, and celery and saute for 15 min, or until lightly browned. Add the garlic and cook 2 more min. Add 1 1/2 quarts of water, the white wine, tomato paste, salt, pepper, and thyme. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 1 hour. Strain through a sieve, ssing the solids, You should have approx. 1 quart of stock.You can make up the difference with water or wine if you need to.

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