Saturday, September 28, 2013

Maine Shrimp Chowder - Pink Saturday

This is a light and lovely soup that's more like an oyster stew than a traditional seafood chowder. Save for shrimp and potatoes, there is little in this soup to distract from the briny taste of its creamy, but thin, broth. A traditional chowder has a base of bacon and is thickened with crushed crackers or a roux. They were originally made with chunks of fish and vegetables that were boiled in a large pot that the French called a "Chaudiere." The Chaudiere named both the cooking vessel and the stew that cooked in it. Over time, the word was corrupted by our New England ancestors and the stew became known as a chowder. Today's chowder contains no bacon, and no thickener of any type is added to the milk or cream in which the shrimp are simmered. This is a really easy dish to make. If you are at all skilled with a knife, you can move this simple meal from pot to table in less than 45 minutes. I found the recipe at Ocean Breezes and Country Sneezes, a wonderful blog that I hope you all will visit. I've made some small changes to the recipe. I cut all ingredients in half because this type of chowder doesn't reheat well. I also utilized the shrimp shells to help flavor the chowder base. While you can use light cream or half-and-half to make a slightly richer chowder, an effort to make it less rich by using reduced fat milk will yield disappointing results.. I know that those of you who try this chowder will love it. Here's the recipe.

Maine Shrimp Chowder...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite inspired by Mary at Ocean Breezes, Country Sneezes


1 pound of fresh shrimp in shells

2 cups light cream, half-and-half or whole milk

1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese

1 large onion sliced

2 tablespoons butter

3 medium russet potatoes, cut in 1/4-inch slices

1 cup boiling water

1 teaspoons salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 tablespoons minced flat-leaf parsley


1) In a medium saucepan, bring cream or milk to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce heat to low.

2) Shell and de-vein shrimp. Rinse shells and place in pan with simmering cream. Cover and simmer very gently for 15 minutes. Pour cream or milk through a sieve. Discard shells. Add cheese and stir until cheese melts. Keep warm.

3) Meanwhile, saute onions in hot butter in deep pot until tender. Add boiling water, then sliced potatoes, salt and pepper. Simmer covered 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Then add shrimp, and hot milk and simmer just until shrimp turn pink and are cooked through. Sprinkle with parsley and serve immediately. Yield: 3 to 4 servings.

You might also enjoy these recipes:

Bouillabaisse - The Hunger Struck

Fish Soup - Tobias Cooks

Oyster Stew - Seriously Soupy

Provencal Seafood Bisque - Simply Recipes

Swedish Fish Soup - Klutzy Chef

Fish and Shellfish Soup, Spanish Style - The Winter Guest

Seafood Bourride - Blue Kitchen

Manhattan Clam Chowder - One Perfect Bite

New England Clam Chowder - One Perfect Bite

This post is being linked to:

Pink Saturday, sponsored by Beverly at How Sweet the Sound.

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