When the family asks, “What’s for dinner?”, New England style seafood chowder provides a tempting answer! Sure, you can buy a commercial product, but when you’re serving a family, this dish can become a bit pricey. The good news here is that this hearty entree is easy to prepare, filling, nutritious and can be economically prepared in quantities to serve a crowd. Any leftovers make a terrific lunch bag entree everyone will love to see. Here, we’ve got a recipe for seafood chowder that would please a New Englander! Keep in mind that the ingredients for this seafood chowder aren’t ‘cast in stone’. You’ve got lots of latitude when it comes to substituting – or adding to – this recipe. If one type of seafood or a particular veggie doesn’t appeal to you, feel free to substitute one more to your liking.
New England style Seafood Chowder
4 medium potatoes, peeled, coarsely chopped and boiled
4 tablespoons of butter
4 tablespoons white or soft wheat flour
8 cups (2 quarts) milk
2 cups whole kernel corn
1 large sweet onion, diced
6 large white or brown mushrooms, sliced
2 sweet bell peppers (red, orange or yellow), coarsely diced
1 can sliced water chestnuts
½ pound uncooked medium shrimp, shelled and deveined
½ pound uncooked bay scallops, fresh or frozen
½ pound uncooked catfish ‘nuggets’
½ pound crayfish (available frozen in most supermarkets)
3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
2 teaspoons of dried dill weed
salt and pepper to taste
1.Peel the potatoes, dice coarsely and boil in salted water. Reserve the water in which the potatoes are cooked.
2.In a 8-quart stock pot, melt the butter over low heat. Add the flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, using a whisk to incorporate the flour into the butter. Cook the butter and flour mixture for at least 10 minutes, whisking frequently (to avoid burning your precious roux).
3.Slowly add the milk, whisking constantly. When all the milk has been added, continue cooking for about ten minutes – the broth will thicken upon cooking. If it becomes too thick for your preference, add some of the reserved potato water, a bit at a time, until the broth suits your taste in thickness.
4.Add the cooked potato chunks, corn, onion, mushrooms, peppers and water chestnuts. Cook over low-medium heat for 20 minutes.
5.Add the fish and seafood, parsley and dill weed. Continue cooking until the shrimp are done (about 15 minutes). You can use a slotted spoon to fish out the shrimp – it’s done when it’s bright pink. The rest of the fish and seafood will also be done at this point.
6.Taste the broth, adding salt and pepper to taste.
Now that’s easy! Your New England style seafood chowder is ready to serve. A dinner salad and garlic bread makes this a filling meal that leads to kudos for you, the cook. Enjoy!