Animals quote

"Animals give their lives to feed us, so it's on us to eat every part of them. It's a form of respect, and it's a better way to live than just treating meat as a disposable commodity." —Seamus Mullen, Chef


Smokey Shrimp Chowder

Last weekend, when Ray was off at GameLoop in Boston, I decided to make chowder. I was originally inspired by Real Simple's Shrimp and Corn Chowder with Fennel recipe I had pulled out and saved months ago. However, upon reading the recipe, and the reviews, I started making changes.

I wanted something that would be satisfying, while not too heavy, especially because it's been pretty miserable in the Philly metro area, heat-wise. I also wanted to make sure the chowder stretched a bit, since we don't have a lot of time to cook on week nights. This means making a big batch of something Sunday and living off of it for as long as possible.

• 3 strips duck bacon (I used D'Artagnan uncured smoked duck bacon)
• 3 tbsp unsalted butter
• 1 leek (white and light green parts), chopped
• 1 lb crimini mushrooms, sliced
• kosher salt and black pepper
• 2 cups chicken stock
• 1 lb potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
• bay leaf
• 1/4 tsp chicken bouillon
• 1 lb raw peeled and deveined medium shrimp
• 8 oz frozen corn
• 8 oz frozen peas
• 3/4 cup light cream
• 4 tbsp lemon juice
• Dried dill weed to taste
• Hot paprika to taste

•Thaw shrimp in cool water for later.
• Cook 3 strips of duck bacon in the main pot you'll be making the chowder. Once crispy, drain on a paper towel and set aside.
• Toss chopped leek and mushrooms into the pot with the rendered duck fat. Add 2-3 tbsp of unsalted butter and cook until leeks have softened and mushrooms have reduced in size. Season with salt and pepper.
• Add chicken stock and simmer.
• In a separate pot, boil cubed potatoes with 1 cup white wine and 2 cups water to cover the potatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Boil for 20 minutes, until potatoes are tender.
• Add 1 cup white wine to pot with veggies and chicken stock. Keep simmering.
• Once potatoes are tender, transfer them into the main pot. Reserve their cooking water. Add bay leaf, 1/4 cup white wine, 2 tbsp lemon juice, pepper and 1/4 tsp of chicken bouillon. Cook down for 10 minutes until flavor is concentrated.
• Add concentrated cooking liquid to main pot, along with corn and peas.
• Add the 3/4 cup of light cream, dill and parika. Crumble the duck bacon and add. Simmer for 10 minutes
• Add thawed shrimp and simmer for 5 minutes.

The flavor is great—the smoked duck bacon makes all the difference, in my opinion. I was a little disappointed with the shrimp—I didn't feel like they added much more flavor, so maybe I'll try this with some different seafood in the future. The broth was just right—not too creamy and gloppy, and the potatoes remained tender for a whole week.

Not to mention that the condo smelled wonderful.

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