Late Summer Corn and Shrimp Chowder

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The crickets are humming day and night and the nights are getting cooler, but I am not ready to let go of summer.  This past weekend my family and I went to our friends low country shrimp and crab boil – a yearly blowout they host at their house – complete with a bluegrass band, horseshoes and plenty of friends.  Steve is from the south so this is in perfect harmony with his family’s tradition, and we get to benefit from it.  It alway lands at the perfect time of the year.  Everyone back into the routine of local life and a predictably beautiful September weekend.shrimpboilMy husband, this year, volunteered to be the sous chef at the party to let Steve have a bit of a break so he could actually play host and enjoy himself.  I think he was born for this, and had a great time cooking.

We were generously rewarded the next day with a delivery of extra shrimp, corn and potatoes from the party.  I have been having a calling for shrimp and corn chowder lately, and have been meaning to whip one up for the last few weeks.  This usually comes about this time of year for me when there is an abundance of corn all around me – from my own garden or the farm down the street.  Even the grocery store is practically giving it away.cornI went straight to work.  This was going to be an easy job because everything was already cooked.  All I needed to do was get the corn off the cobs, cut up the potatoes, and peel the shrimp and crab.

onionI added in some fresh chopped onion – because onion is an essential aromatic in chowders (plus it is so good for you!).  The result was something so delicious and comforting.  Most chowders call for using whole milk.  I use 2% milk and you could even use soy milk if you don’t drink cow’s milk.  You could also use brown rice flour for the regular flour if you are gluten free. It all thickens up very nicely.  If time is truly a concern, you could use frozen corn, but I wouldn’t recommend it.  It is worth the time (only a few extra minutes) to use fresh corn, especially when it is so in season. The recipe below is a good representation of what I made and you can easily duplicate this at home.  Enjoy!seafoodchowder

 Late Summer Corn and Shrimp Chowder

Serves 4

Ingredients

6 ears of corn, husks removed and corn sliced off the cob
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
4 large red potatoes, cut into medium dice
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 cups 2% milk, or soy milk if you are dairy free
2 cup of water
2 teaspoons Old Bay Seasoning, or other seafood seasoning
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 pound shrimp, shelled and deveined
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. Slice off the tip of each corn cob and with a sharp knife slice down the side of the corn to release the kernels. Set aside in a bowl.
  2. In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil on medium heat with a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Add the onion and sauté for about 5 minutes, until soft.
  3. Add the corn and potatoes and continue sauteing for another 3 minutes, stirring often to prevent the potatoes from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  4. Add the flour and stir constantly for 1 minute.  Whisk in the milk, water, Old Bay and thyme.  Bring up to a boil, then down to a simmer, stirring occasionally and until the potatoes are cooked and the chowder has thickened, about 10 minutes.
  5. Add the shrimp and cook until just opaque, about 2 to 3 minutes.  Stir in the parsley and add more salt and pepper if necessary. Serve hot.

Copyright© Heather Carey, MS 2013

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