From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...If you have 15 minutes and a few basic ingredients in your freezer, this lovely winter chowder will lure you to your kitchen the way the sirens lured the Argonauts to the Sirenuse. You'll need a pound of frozen shrimp, a pound of frozen corn and some potatoes to get started. Several times a year a local grocery chain sells 2 pound bags of extra large shrimp for around $12. I usually buy 6 bags at a time, so I always have shrimp in my freezer for a quick weeknight meal. When I saw this recipe in Family Circle magazine, I knew I had to give it a try and I pulled a pound of shrimp from my stash. I did make a few changes to the original version of the recipe. I substituted Yukon Gold potatoes for consistent color and frozen shoepeg corn for tenderness, I also swapped a cup of chicken broth with a quickly made shrimp stock. The stock was embarrassingly simple to make. I covered the shells from a pound of shrimp with three cups of water and boiled them until the liquid was reduced to one cup. I used that cup to replace a cup of stock in the Family Circle recipe. Forty-five minutes later, I had a chowder that was thick and creamy and thoroughly enjoyable. I have one caution. This should be served shortly after it is made. The corn and the shrimp toughen when they are reheated and the chowder, while still good, is just never quite the same. This is a wonderful family recipe and it is perfect for a winter night. It is quick and uncomplicated to make and if your family enjoys chowder, I think they'll love this one. Here's how it is made.
Gold Beach Winter Chowder...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite inspired by Family Circle magazine
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 small leeks, cleaned and sliced
2 large Yukon gold potatoes (about 12 oz), peeled and cubed
1 cup shrimp stock
2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
4 cups frozen corn kernels (shoepeg if possible), thawed
1-1/2 cups half-and-half
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
1 sweet yellow pepper, cored, seeded and thinly sliced
1 sweet orange pepper, cored, seeded and thinly sliced
1 pound medium shrimp, shelled, deveined and cut with scissors into thirds
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
1) Shell shrimp. Place shells in a medium pot. Cover with 3 cups water and boil until liquid is reduced to 1 cup. Drain shells reserving stock.
2) In a large pot melt butter over medium heat and add leeks; cook 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add potato, shrimp and chicken broth and corn kernels. Simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3) Combine half-and-half and cornstarch; stir into pot. Add Old Bay seasoning and bring to a simmer. Add peppers and shrimp; simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in lemon juice and hot sauce. Serve immediately. Yield: 4 to 6 servings.
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