I love New England style chowder, so when I saw a recipe for seafood chowder with green chilies added, I was intrigued – would it make it spicy or give it a Mexican flavor? In order to find out, I used one of my favorite chowder recipes and added chilies, paprika, and lemon juice – the ingredients that I had seen in the other recipe.
Guess what? We loved it! It turned out really good, adding just a hint of spiciness, but no overtly ‘loud’ flavors. The chilies and paprika really seemed to enhance the traditional chowder ingredients and was a nice change of pace.
Chowders are really pretty simple – cook vegetables in a bit of butter, add spices and flour to thicken, cook that around a bit and cover with water or broth before bringing to a boil in order to fully cook the potatoes.
And then finish by adding the milk or cream and heat until the falling-apart potatoes and the milk have helped thicken the soup. The seafood is always added in the last few minutes in order to not become overcooked.
By the way, I LOVE seafood and am always trying to find ways to get it into our menus without going over budget. I’ve found the best ways are to (obviously) buy on sale, and also to use recipes that make a little seafood go a long way. Soup is a obviously a good way to stretch seafood, but also kabobs because you can add lots of vegetables on the skewers and seafood-pasta dishes. I then try to plan a very inexpensive meal one of the days the week to balance out a seafood day.
Finish the chowder with the juice of one lemon and serve sprinkled with a little parsley. Easy and delicious – and done in about 30 minutes!
Seafood Chowder With Green Chilies
- 4 large potatoes, peeled and diced
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 tsp. paprika
- 1/4 cup flour
- 4 cups water
- 2 (6-oz) can minced clams
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. black pepper
- 1/2 c. chopped green chilies (you can use frozen peppers or 1 4-0z. can)
- 1 cup half-and-half (or use all milk for a less rich chowder)
- 1 cup milk
- 1 lb. white fish, cut into bite-size pieces
- 1/2 lb. medium-size shrimp, peeled and cleaned
- juice of one small lemon
- parsley for serving
- Melt butter over medium heat and add the potatoes and onions. Stir and cook for 3-4 minutes until onion is softened.
- Add paprika and flour, stirring well and cook a couple minutes.
- Add the water and the juice from the canned clams to the pot along with the salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer about 15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.
- Stir in the chilies, half-and-half, milk, and seafood. Cook over medium heat until the fish is cooked through, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Finish the chowder by stirring in the juice of a lemon and adjust salt to taste. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve.
Makes 6-8 servings.
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