This recipe comes courtesy of epicurious.com, and it's good. The flavors are rich and bold, and go great with the shrimp. The only complaint that Guy had was that the shrimp were too big. A shrimp chowder is best with small shrimp (26-30/lb.). I agree. I was trying to use up the ton of shrimp that he's been catching. When he empties our crab traps, he throws a net over the side of the dock and in come gazillions of fresh shrimp. They are delicious, and our freezer is full of them. So in the soup some of the latest catch went.
I didn't change much in this recipe. I added an ear of fresh corn. Instead of making my own shrimp stock (a nifty idea, but I had thrown out the shells already), I subbed with Clamato juice. It's part clam juice, part tomato juice. It worked very well. I left out the fennel seed because I didn't have any. Because I added corn, I reduced the potatoes. (Oh, and Guy said he doesn't like his potatoes sliced, he likes them cubed.) The only other change was that we didn't add cream or half and half. The soup didn't need it. It was fabulous by itself. What a rich broth -- really, really yummy. Give it a try. Not too hard and really, really good.
Jasper White's Shrimp Chowder with Fennel, Adapted Half Recipe
Rating: 10 out of 10
2 oz. (approx. 2 strips) bacon, diced
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1-1/2 tsp. chopped garlic
1/2 of a small fennel bulb, quartered, then sliced thinly (4 oz.)
4 oz. thinly sliced onion
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
2 cups Clamato juice
1/4 lb. thinly sliced potatoes
1/4 lb. cubed potatoes
1 ear of corn, kernels sliced, cob scraped (or 1 cup frozen corn)
1/2 cup tomatoes
1-1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
3/4 lb. (12 oz.) small shrimp, peeled
sea salt to taste
black pepper to taste
In a 3-quart heavy pot, cook the bacon over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon; reserve for garnish. Remove all but 1 Tbsp. of the bacon fat. Add oil and garlic and cook 30 seconds over medium heat. Add fennel, onion and red pepper flakes and saute`, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon for about 3-5 minutes, till vegetables begin to soften. Cover the pot, lower the heat and let the vegetables cook till they are very soft, about 10 more minutes.
Add the Clamato juice and the thinly sliced potatoes; turn up the heat and bring to a boil. (Juice should cover the vegetables; if not, add a little more.) Cover the pot and cook until potatoes are soft, about 10 minutes. You may need to reduce the heat during this time, but not to low. The mixture should maintain a slow boil.
Add the cubed potatoes and cook, covered for about 5 minutes, or till potatoes are almost cooked through. Taste to adjust seasonings, adding salt and pepper as needed.
Add corn, tomatoes and broth and simmer for about 5 more minutes. Stir in the shrimp and cook for about 1 minute, or till shrimp are barely cooked. Remove from heat and let the soup sit for about 10 minutes. Taste to adjust seasonings, adding more salt and pepper if needed. Serve soup with the reserved bacon as a garnish.
Yield: 4 large servings Deelish!