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Blog

Maine Seafood Chowder

Patricia Reitz

You might be thinking, “what’s Maine chowder?” In short, it’s a brothier version of the more traditional New England-style chowder, which is often thickened with flour. This chowder starts with a flavorful shrimp stock, but it’s thickened with a flavorful heavy cream reduction. Chock full of tender shrimp and bay scallops, this luxurious soup is guaranteed to please the seafood lovers in your life.

Start by carefully cooking the shrimp until it’s just barely cooked through. Here I’m using shrimp that still have their shells, but you can use peeled shrimp if that’s what you have. I like to cook them in the oven, like this.

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When the shrimp are cool enough to handle, remove the shells/tails and cut the shrimp into bite-size pieces; set aside.

Freeze the shells/tails to make shrimp stock at a later time.

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In a large dutch oven or braiser (I use one like this), sauté the bacon until it starts to render some of its fat, then add the leeks and potatoes to the bacon and continue sautéing for about 5 minutes.

Add the shrimp stock and bring to a boil; cook until the potatoes are tender, then turn off the burner.

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In a large skillet, cook the bay scallops in butter just until they’re barely cooked through. Be careful not overcook the scallops or they’ll turn rubbery.

Add the cream, reserved shrimp, and any juices that may have collected on the roasting pan.

Add the parsley and cayenne; stir well and heat until the cream starts to bubble.

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Skim the shrimp and scallops from the cream and set aside while the cream reduces.

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Allow the cream to boil until it reduces in volume and thickens.

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Add the thickened cream to the shrimp stock.

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Stir in the reserved shrimp, scallops, and optional dry sherry. Stir well to combine.

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Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper if necessary.

Maine Seafood Chowder - ButterYum —

Enjoy!

Items used to make this recipe:


Maine Seafood Chowder

makes 12 servings

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces bacon, cut into bite-size piece

  • 4 cups sliced leeks, rinsed well

  • 1.5 pounds red bliss potatoes, cut into 1/4-inch dice

  • 8 cups shrimp stock (here’s my recipe)

  • 4 tablespoons butter

  • 2 cups heavy cream

  • 2 pounds medium size shrimp (25-30 count), cooked and cut into thirds

  • 1 pound bay scallops, fresh or thawed

  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley

  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • kosher salt and pepper to taste

  • 1-2 tablespoons dry sherry (optional)

Directions

  1. Cook shrimp until just barely done (directions here).

  2. When the shrimp are cool enough to handle, peel if necessary and cut into thirds; set aside. (freeze shrimp shells/tails to make shrimp stock at a later time)

  3. In a large dutch oven or braiser (I use one like this), sauté the bacon until it starts to render some of its fat, then add the leeks and potatoes to the bacon and continue sautéing for about 5 minutes.

  4. Add the shrimp stock and bring to a boil; cook until the potatoes are tender, then turn off the heat.

  5. In a large skillet, cook the bay scallops in butter just until they’re barely cooked through.

  6. Add the cream and reserved shrimp to the skillet, along with any juices that collected in the baking pan.

  7. Add the parsley and cayenne pepper and heat just until the cream starts to bubble around the edges of the pan.

  8. Skim the shrimp and bay scallops from the cream; set aside.

  9. Allow the cream to bubble away until it reduces a bit and thickens.

  10. Pour the reduced cream into the shrimp stock and add the reserved shrimp and scallops; stir well and serve.