Monday, August 31, 2009

Seafood Chowda

This weekend my daughter Katie made a great big pot of seafood chowder (chowda, she says, in a mock-New England accent) and it was GOOD!

We’d been to the Hand Melon Farm stand in Greenwich, New York, on Friday and picked up some nice veggies. We left with two huge tomatoes, radishes, celery, and Montauk corn – a baker’s dozen – and of course a sampling of their chocolate raspberry and chocolate cheesecake fudge (just to see if it was any good, and it was!). The stand is directly across from the Washington County Fairgrounds. The fair was in full swing and it was fun to see the rides in operation. Henry (now 16 months) was mesmerized by one ride that went forward at full speed, and then backward, (Tilt-a-Whirl?) all the while making interesting whistling and clanging noises. There's something about a fair and summer. Very Americana.

It's always good to travel east a few miles. It's a beautful ride across the Hudson River from Saratoga through Schuylerville and on to Greenwich. The sun was out and it was a warm, sunny late summer day, perfect for a short jaunt.

We had the corn that night (delicious) and there were many ears left over, so we decided to make a chowder the next day. We had a lot of the ingredients on hand and stopped by the store the next morning for seafood.

I was out running errands when Katie got started. When I came back, the aroma was heavenly, as if I were in a seaside restaurant! I couldn’t wait to ladle me a bowl of that chowda. It was GREAT and here’s the recipe in case you find yourself with a few extra ears of corn and most of the fixings. It’s well worth the ingredients and the time it takes to put it together.

Katie’s Seafood Chowda

3 strips bacon
1 Vidalia onion, diced
1 c. chopped carrot
1 c. chopped celery
4 red potatoes, skin on, diced
Kernels from 3 ears cooked, sweet corn
3 cloves chopped garlic
3 tbs. cornstarch
32 oz. seafood stock
6 oz. bottle clam juice
1 sprig thyme
1 sprig dill
½ lb. bay scallops
1 lb. medium shrimp, cleaned, tails removed
2 cans chopped clams
1 pt. heavy cream

Cook bacon in large stock pot to render fat. Once crisp, remove bacon and add onion. Saute until soft. Add cornstarch and stir until incorporated. Add corn kernels, carrot, celery, garlic, and potatoes. Saute until vegetables are soft. Add herbs, salt, pepper, and then stock and clam juice. Bring to a simmer. Add seafood and cream and simmer for about a half hour or longer until it thickens up a bit. Remove sprigs of thyme and dill. Ladle into bowls and garnish with crumbled bacon.

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