Thursday, July 31, 2008

Seafood - YUM!

I absolutely LOVE seafood and am in fact looking forward to a crab leg dinner tomorrow evening with my husband. Seafood is one of my favorites and I could eat it daily without hesitation! One of my personal favorite seafood dishes though is a a chowder recipe that includes lots of my favorites like crab, scallops, shrimp, lobster and clam with a buttery, creamy rich taste! With the variety of seafood included and the rich tastes it would definitely be contender for a prize in a competition.
I'll share it with you in a moment!
I would love to vacation in the south and in fact if I had a chance to go to the Great American Seafood Cook off in Louisiana I would in a heartbeat . . . I can only imagine the wonderful aroma's swirling in the air around me as I walked around. To view the cooking competition and all the various chefs with their specialties brewing. Oh I would be in heaven! Please if you get the opportunity to go share with me the sites, smells, sounds and whatever else you get to experience . . . I will live through you!

Here is the recipe if you want to give it a try:

Extra-virgin olive oil
5 slices of bacon, chopped
2 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch dice
1 large onion, chopped
4 celery ribs from the heart with leaves, finely chopped
1 fresh or dried bay leaf
Salt and freshly ground pepper
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 cups chicken broth
6 cups whole milk (or for a richer taste use half milk and half cream)
4 ounces fresh crab meat
4 ounces fresh medium size shrimp, devined and without tail
4 ounces lobster meat, chopped
4 ounces fresh scallops
4 ounces clams
3 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
1 tablespoon seafood seasoning, such as Old Bay
3 tablespoons dry Sherry (optional)
4 tablespoons snipped chives
Hot sauce if desired
1.Put a medium pot over medium high heat, add a drizzle of olive oil and the bacon
and cook until the bacon is crisp, about 5 minutes.
Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
2. Leaving a thin, even layer of the bacon fat add the potatoes, onion, celery and bay leaf to the pot, season with salt and pepper as desired and cook for 7 to 8 minutes,
stirring occasionally, until softened.
3. Whisk in the flour and cook for 2 minutes. Slowly add the chicken broth and, using a wooden spoon or your whisk to scrape up all the brown bits from the bottom of the pot. Add the milk, cover the pot and bring to a simmer.
4. Mix your seafood together, then combine with the thyme and seafood seasoning. Uncover the pot, stir in the seafood and simmer for 6 to 7 minutes, until the potatoes are just fork-tender the seafood is cooked through and the soup has thickened.
5. Stir the Sherry(if desired) into the chowder.
Then serve bowls of chowder with sprinkled bacon and chives.
Flavor with hot sauce to taste.

Let me know how you enjoy it? At my house we usually omit the Sherry and also add a sprinkle of cheddar on top, serve with crusty rolls and see who can emit the most mmmmm's while enjoying it!

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