Monday, March 31, 2008

Two Chowders

Warm weather is coming, but there's still time to squeeze in a few more pots of soup!

Yesterday's Seafood Chowder was nothing more than an experiment that turned out nicely.

The last few times I've made shrimp dishes, I've taken the shells from the peeled shrimp and sauteed them in a little butter, then added water and cooked it all down into a concentrated stock, which I've kept in the freezer. I also had one uncooked, individually wrapped tilapia filet and about 1/4 pound of shrimp in the freezer. I used all of these, with a few more ingredients, to come up with this chowder. It has a mild seafood taste, which I think is enhanced by garnishing each serving with a little Cajun seasoning and sliced green onions.

Seafood Chowder

5 cups shrimp stock*, divided
1 Knorr fish flavored bouillon cube
3 large potatoes, peeled and diced
salt and pepper to taste
1 tilapia fillet (or other white fish fillet)
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 pound shrimp, peeled, deveined and chopped
1/4 cup half-and-half cream (or evaporated milk)
Cajun seasoning
Sliced green onions

Heat 4 cups of shrimp stock and bouillon cube until bouillon cube dissolves. Add diced potatoes and simmer until potatoes are tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

When potatoes are nearly tender, add fish fillet and simmer until flesh is opaque and flakes easily. Remove from stock, flake and return to pan.

Gradually whisk remaining shrimp stock (at room temperature or cooler) into cornstarch until smooth. Gradually add this mixture to simmering stock, whisking until smooth and thickened.

Stir in chopped shrimp and cook just until shrimp bits turn pink. Remove from heat. Stir in half-and-half.

Serve immediately, topping each serving with a bit of Cajun seasoning and sliced green onion.

Makes 4 servings.

This Ham and Potato Chowder is best when the stock is made by simmering a meaty ham bone. But chicken broth can be used in a pinch with very good results.

Ham and Potato Chowder

1 quart ham stock or chicken broth
1 cup diced ham or bits of ham pulled from leftover ham bone
6 potatoes, peeled and diced
1/2 medium onion, diced
2 cups milk
2/3 cup dry milk powder (optional, for added calcium)
1 packet country gravy mix (such as Williams' or Grandy's)
Shredded Cheddar cheese

Bring ham stock to a boil. Add potatoes and onions. Return to a boil then reduce heat ans simmer until potatoes are tender, 15-20 minutes.

Add ham, milk, dry milk powder and gravy mix. Whisk until smooth and thickened.

Serve topped with Cheddar cheese, if desired.

Makes 8-10 servings.

1 comment:

Donna said...

They both look Great!!! We had chicken & sausage gumbo for dinner. Love soups! Have a wonderful night!hughugs