Recipe: Seafood Chowder

Robert Craig Chardonnay

Robert Craig Chardonnay

This is an excellent recipe for seafood chowder provided by Bryan Craig and best paired with Robert Craig’s Chardonnay. Enjoy!

Seafood Chowder

~ Bryan Craig

Serves 6-8

Best if prepared the day before serving

1 ½ lbs. medium shrimp

¾ lb. red snapper, sea bass or halibut (thinly sliced fillets/pieces)

1 ½ lbs. of cooked crab in the shell (King, Snow, Dungeness)

1 leek

1 pint (2 cups) heavy cream

5 garlic cloves

1 quart (4 cups) whole milk

1 ear of corn

6 Yukon Gold potatoes.

1 carrot

Italian parsley

2 sticks butter

¼ cup flour

1 quart (4 cups) vegetable stock

3 tsp. olive oil

blackening seasoning (Cajun’s Choice, Zatarain’s, Old Bay, Emeril’s)

cayenne pepper

hot paprika

white wine (low-priced, unoaked Chardonnay is best)

Chowder2 Peel and clean the shrimp and crab, saving the shells. In a stock pot, bring 5 cups of water to a boil. Add shells and 4 dashes of hot paprika. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes over medium low heat. Remove cover and bring back to a rolling boil (over medium high heat) for 15 minutes. Strain liquid into bowl and set aside.

At the same time, cut leek in half and soak in water for 20 minutes. Rinse leek to make sure there is no remaining grit. Slice the white and light green portion of the leek. Add sliced leek, heavy cream, whole milk and whole garlic cloves to a medium saucepan. Steep leeks over medium heat for 15 minutes. Do not boil! After the liquid cools slightly, puree mixture in a blender. Set aside.

Clean the ear of corn, removing the silk. Carefully cut off the kernels; position the ear upright and slice down. Put a paper towel under the ear so that it doesn’t slip when cutting (or the Kuhn Rikon Corn Zipper is a handy gadget and available on-line or in specialty cookware stores).

Rinse, peel and cut potatoes and carrot into ½ inch cubes. Add 4 Tbps. of butter and olive oil to a large, very hot skillet. Immediately add the potatoes, carrot and corn with ¼ tsp. of blackening seasoning. Brown for 3-4 minutes.

In the stock pot, melt 1 stick of butter over medium low heat. When butter is melted, whisk ¼ cup of flour into the butter and stir for 10 minutes over low heat until well-blended but not browned.

Add shrimp/crab stock, vegetable stock, ½ bottle of  white wine, leek puree, crab meat and 3 dashes of cayenne pepper to stock pot. Simmer for 30 minutes over medium to medium high heat. Do not boil!

Add potato/carrot/corn mixture and simmer for 15 minutes or until tender. Reduce to low heat.

Using a paper towel, dry the shrimp and cut into bite- sized pieces. Remove bones from fish (if any) but leave in whole fillets or large chunks. Dust with blackening seasoning on one side of fillet.

To a very hot skillet add 1 Tbsp. of butter and ½ tsp. of olive oil. Immediately add the shrimp and quickly sear for 10- 15 seconds and add to stock pot. Add another ½ tsp. olive oil to the hot skillet and sear fish on seasoned side for 20-30 seconds. Add to stock pot (fish fillets will break apart in the broth).

Add ¼ cup of chopped Italian parsley, a splash of white wine, 3 dashes of Crystal or Tabasco, ¼ tsp. black pepper and 2 tsp. of salt to stock and simmer on low for 10 min. or until shrimp/white fish are cooked.   Do not boil!

Serve with crusty French or Sourdough bread.


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