Monday, September 7, 2009
Shrimp Chowder - Blue Monday
Commercial Shrimp Trawler
Shrimp Farming Pond
From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...Most of us love shrimp. Americans consume an estimated 1 billion pounds of shrimp a year, most of which comes from the oceans and farms of Asia and Latin America. The cha-ching ringing faintly in the background is the 3.8 billion dollars that that consumption adds to our trade deficit each year. That's food for thought on this Labor Day. Half the shrimp we now eat are farm-raised. Wild or farm-raised, shrimp should be firm and moist and have no off odors, especially ammonia. They usually come to market frozen and are sold by the number per pound, so shrimp labeled 26-30 will contain between 26 and 30 shrimp per pound. Most shrimp fall into four categories: white, pink, brown and black, with the white being, by far, the most popular. Recipes for shrimp abound. I didn't want to repeat one you already have, so I chose this chowder recipe instead. It was develop by Sam Hayward for Saveur magazine. Shrimp chowder is very light because no flour or other additive is used to thicken it. It's flavor comes from a broth that is quickly made from the shells of shrimp that are used to make the chowder. While it is thinner, the chowder contains the bacon and potatoes we've come to associate with chowder. I love this recipe. I hope you will too.
Shrimp Chowder...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite
3 lbs. shell-on, shrimp
4 ounces slab bacon, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
3 medium russet potatoes (about 1 pound), quartered lengthwise and sliced crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
1 large leek, white part only, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
3 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup heavy cream
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pinch cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons snipped chives
1) To make broth: Peel shells off shrimp, reserving for shrimp broth. Transfer shrimp to a bowl, cover, and refrigerate until chowder base is completed. Place shrimp shells in a large pot and add 10 cups cold water. Bring to a simmer over high heat, then reduce to low and gently simmer for 5 minutes, skimming off any foam that rises to surface. Strain the broth through a fine sieve and set aside.
2) To make chowder base: Cook bacon in a small pot of simmering water for 1 minute. Drain. Heat a medium pot over medium heat, add bacon, and cook, stirring occasionally, until it releases some of its fat. Add potatoes and leeks, stir well, then reduce heat to medium-low and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add 3 cups of the reserved shrimp broth (freeze remainder for another use) and simmer, covered, until potatoes are tender, 8–10 minutes. Remove the chowder base from the heat and cover to keep warm.
3) Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Raise heat to high, add chilled shrimp and cream, stir well, and bring to a boil. Let boil for 30 seconds. Add shrimp mixture to chowder base and stir gently to combine. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt, a generous amount of black pepper, and cayenne. Ladle into warm soup bowls and sprinkle chives on top of each. Yield: 4-6 servings.
This post is being linked to Smiling Sally - Blue Monday