Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Rosie Gets A Hankerin' For Shrimp Chowder.

It's January and it's cold.
Time for soup.
I always have shrimp in the freezer,
so I'm going with a shrimp chowder today.

A chowder, by definition,
is a rich, thick soup generally containing sea creatures and potatoes,
along with milk and/or cream and a thickener,
in this case, a roux. 

FYI, the word "chowder"
 comes from the French chaudière, meaning stew pot.
Or, alternatively,   the word "chowder" (in French, chaudrée)
 comes from the French chaudron for cauldron,
which is the pot Frenchmen used to cook their soup.

Chowder is not a wimpy, thin, watery soup.
It's not a smooth purée, like a bisque.
It's got chunks.
And mine is going to be loaded with chunky goodness.

Rosie's Shrimp Chowder
 1 large potato
1 celery stalk
1 carrot, peeled
1 onion
3 TB unsalted butter
2 TB flour
1 cup shrimp stock
1/2 cup milk 
1 cup frozen peas, not canned
1 lb. shrimp, peeled and de-tracted
sherry, to taste
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
chopped celery leaves
chopped parsley
To make your own shrimp stock, see here.

Dice the potato and cook in salted water, covering,
until tender, about 20 minutes.
I don't bother to peel the potato.
I like the peel.

Finely chop the celery stalk, the onion, and the peeled carrot.
In a medium saucepan, over medium low heat,
melt 2 TB of the butter.
Sauté the carrot, celery, and onion for about 2 minutes.
Add in the remaining TB of butter, melt,
then add in the flour, stirring for about 2 minutes,
until the flour is cooked.
Slowly stir in the shrimp stock,
letting it thicken.
Gradually stir in the milk,
heating through.
I used skim because that's what's on hand,
 but you can use whatever.
Let thicken.
Add in potatoes and heat through.
Increase heat a bit until you have a slight bubble
and add in shrimp and peas.
Cook about 1 - 1 1/2 minutes
until shrimp is just cooked.
It turns opaque.
Please, do not overcook your shrimp.
Stir in 1/4 cup sherry to start.
Taste test and season with kosher salt and pepper.
Add more sherry if needed.

Serve with a dusting of cayenne powder
and a sprinkling of chopped celery leaves and parsley,
with toast or saltines or oyster crackers.
For the step-by-steps:
Have everything prepared.
Diced and cooked potatoes.
Finely chopped carrot, celery, and onion.
Celery leaves and parsley.

Sauté in a little butter.

Add in the flour
and cook, stirring, to get the raw taste out.

Medium heat.  Keep stirring.

Have stock and shrimp on hand.
If you don't have homemade shrimp stock, you should.

Slowly pour in the shrimp stock.

Stir to thicken.
Add in the milk, stirring, until thickened.

Potatoes in.

Shrimp in.

Peas in.

Cook until shrimp is just cooked through.

Stir in sherry.
And season to taste.

Serve with chopped celery leaves and parsley 
along with a sprinkling of cayenne.

Perfect for this weather.

Hit the spot!

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