Friday, 18 November 2011

Dinner Last Night - Spicy Shrimp & Corn Chowder

I will start by admitting that this isn't the healthiest of meals, although all real food.....and it is really yummy and the perfect cold weather warm up feed up.  I only make this maybe twice a year, always on cold days and I love that I can throw it together with ingredients that are almost always already in my pantry and freezer.

This is for a huge batch.  You can cut this in half

2 lbs of 31-40 shrimp, deveined and peeled (My grocery store sells frozen bags for $10.99 but they often go on sale for 1/2 price or 2 for one. $10.99)
8 slices of bacon, cut up into lardons (about 1/2 a slab $4 organic)
2 398 ml cans of fresh corn (I did not get these on sale this time and they were $1.99 each - $4.00)
2 1/2 cups of whipping cream ($5.00 organic)
4 1/2 cups of chicken stock ($2.25 organic) or 2 jars of home made
4 medium size potatoes, cubed ($2.00 organic)
2 medium yellow onions, diced ($2.00 organic)
3 cloves of garlic, minced ($0.50 organic)
3 limes, juice of all three, zest of one ($0.50)
Salt to taste...the amount will vary depending on how salty your stock is
1 tsp cayenne (optional but you will need some pepper so if you leave out the cayenne please add some fresh ground pepper)
1 tsp dried parsley
Total $ 31.24 for probably 3 dinners for 4 or $2.60 a serving

In a large bowl coat the shrimp with the juice from 2 1/2 limes and all the zest.  Set aside but don't let it marinate for more than an hour.

In a large soup/stock pot over medium high heat brown and crisp up the bacon.  Once nice and crispy remove with a slotted spoon and place on paper towel to drain. Turn the heat down to medium, in the hot bacon fat add the onions and let them soften and sweeten but try not to let them brown then add the garlic.  You really don't want the garlic to burn or brown or it will get bitter.  Once it has softened add the chicken stock, cream, corn and potatoes. Let it all come to a simmer.  Let the potatoes cook through.  When you can easily squish one against the side of the pot it is time to add the cayenne and shrimp.  Drain the shrimp of its marinade and discard it.  Add the drained shrimp to the soup.  Only let it cook long enough for the shrimp to be cooked.  Over cooking it or letting it simmer on the stove will make the shrimp tough.

Serve with a little squeeze off fresh lime juice.  It is particularly good with corn bread.  If you add the cayenne it does have a bit of spice to it...a little heat but my kids ate this no problem.

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