Georgia Shrimp are in season right now and oh man are they delicious! I happened to pick some up this afternoon that had just walked in the door and they smelled……..just like the ocean:)! I asked the fish dude for the freshest white fish they had today and ended up with 3/4 lb of whiting. That’s usually the best way to go-the freshest. Any white fish will do for this. I usually prefer a nice piece of flounder but I plated up a bowl for my brother and he thought the chowder was lovely with the whiting. I add the fish in a few minutes before the shrimp when the soup is all seasoned up nicely and let it kind of melt into the broth, breaking up into smaller pieces and adding a little body and texture to this comforting bowl. The shrimp only take about 4 minutes to cook and once those guys are done-soups on!
The base for this winner starts with a holy trinity, which is cajun speak for onions, celery, and bell pepper. It’s very similar to the french mirepoix (carrots, onions, celery) and only differs with the substitution of bell pepper for the carrots. The ratio for a standard trinity mix is 2 parts onion to 1 part celery and 1 part bell pepper. I add in a little cayenne for some heat, and as always, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice for a rounded acidity. I cook my flour only for a minute or two, to get the “raw” flavor out of the flour, but you’re welcome to cook it a bit longer if you’re looking for an even more authentic cajun flavor in this chowder (just be careful not to let it burn).
It is currently the end of corn season 🙁 so if you’re lucky to still have some fresh corn in your market, GRAB IT NOW! Otherwise, you can sub in frozen corn for this recipe, or use the summer corn I know you’ve got tucked away in that deep freezer of yours:).
Georgia Skrimps and Fish Chow-duh:
2 Corn Cobs, or 1 cup frozen kernels
2 cups milk
1 tablespoon butta
1/4 cup fat back, diced small
1 cup of onion
1/2 cup celery
1/2 green bell pepper
1 large red potato (about 1 cup)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups fish stock, homemade if ya got it!
1/2 lb GEORGIA shrimp, peeled and deveined
3/4lb – 1 lb white fish filets
4 saltine crackers
cayenne pepper TT
salt and pepper TT
1/3 cup half and half
Remove kernels from cobs (or take from bag..ha!). Blend half of the kernels with a little of the milk using an immersion blender or toss it in a food processor and blend. Chop your “holy trinity” into 1/2″ dice and the potato into 1″dice.
In a large pot melt butter and diced fat back. Toss in your trinity, season with s & p (salt n pepper) and let cook until onions are translucent. Sprinkle in the garlic and let cook about a minute more. Add tablespoon of flour and toss to coat vegetables, cooking 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Sprinkle in a dash of cayenne and toss. Add in creamed corn, stock, milk, half and half, and potatoes and bring to a boil. Turn down to simmer and partially cover. Crush up saltine crackers and stir in to soup. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning. Add fresh lemon juice, reserved corn, and fish. Cook 6 minutes. Add in shrimp and cook 4 to 6 minutes longer. Taste soup and adjust seasoning again. Need some more heat? Add more cayenne. Need more acidity? Squeeze in some more lemon juice. Serve in bowls with fresh lemon wedges and saltines on the side.
When’s the last time you had chowder? What kind of seafood(s) do you prefer in yours? Leave me a comment below and let’s talk!