Wednesday, January 5, 2011

"Ironbound Seafood Chowder"

It's no secret that my favorite time of the year begins in early October as the leaves begin to change, the prevailing winds shift out of the North, football is in full swing, and the bourbon keeps you warm around the campfire.  Around the Harrison household, my wife Megan and I have a tradition of making a seafood chowder on the night of the first true "cold front" to make it down to Mississippi.  It's a special recipe for me because I ate my first real bowl of chowder on my first seaduck hunt.  I'll never forget the little hole-in-the-wall shack called "The Woods", which sits on the docks at Plymouth Harbour, selling $11 lobster, and homemade clam and lobster chowder.  At the time, I had never eaten a real chowder made by people that know how to make it.  After that first experience, I searched high and low for a recipe of my own, so that I could experience that chowder whenever I wanted.  Finally, a friend of mine send me a recipe from Mystic Seaport in Rhode Island.  The recipe was really great, but I ended up changing it around to fit my tastes - a practice I typically employ.  Just puts my "stamp" on it.  The original recipe was called "Old Lyme's Scallop Chowder".  This is my take on the original.  Please note, I use scallops, shrimp, and lump crab meat in my chowder, but any form of seafood will likely do.

I've named my recipe the "Ironbound Seafood Chowder" after enjoying a  haddock and lobster chowder on my recent Nova Scotia Eider Hunt.  The end product tasted very similar to my own recipe, though the haddock gave it a slightly different taste.  It was wonderful, particularly after the 20 minute boat ride to get to the island, in freezing temps, and in the dark.

"IRONBOUND SEAFOOD CHOWDER" - serves approximately 4 hungry folks
  • butter (original recipe called for 2 TBS - bah.....I just dump it in until I feel good about it)
  • 1 large potato (Idaho or russet), peeled and diced to 1/2-inch
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1 bunch of green onion
  • 2 1/2 cups whole kernel sweet corn
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1/2 pound peeled shrimp
  • 1/2 pound scallops
  • 1 cup of crab meat
  • salt, pepper and old bay seasoning to taste
  1. Melt butter in a heavy pot over medium heat.  Add potato, onion and celery, cooking until potatoes are soft
  2. Puree 1 cup of corn with 1 cup of milk in a blender.  Add to potato mixture with remaining corn, milk, and cream.  Season to taste and bring to boil.  Once at a boil, reduce heat, and stir often.
  3. Add seafood on last 2-3 minutes.
  4. Serve

I've made this for alot of people over the years, and have never had anyone not enjoy it.  Be sure to serve with good garlic bread.

***To really add to the chowder, serve with a side of smoke deer/venison sausage - the saltiness of the sausage as a side item adds so much to the sweet flavor of the chowder***

Hope you enjoy and please check back often, Justin

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