Chowder is a type of soup usually flavoured with pork fat, milk and thickened with flour. There are different types of chowder and most of them uses seafood as its main ingredient. Some of the popular chowders are the American Clam Chowder, The English Fish Chowder, the Irish seafood Chowder and the Crab and Corn Chowder.
Chowder came from the French word Chaudière which is the name of the pot where they cook these types of soup during the olden days. Fish chowders was believed to be the first chowders and it was considered to be a “poor man’s food”, originally they were made with any fish cooked together with salt pork and hardtack (ship’s biscuits). During those times they also don’t use milk or any forms of cream, they also did not use any potatoes. Thanks to those early seafarers and navigators ingredients from South America, Europe and North America was combined together to make the chowder we all know today.
A “poor man’s food” before but I guess not anymore specially seafood now a days are expensive but like before it is still considered as an all in one dish where you can find your meat, vegetables, carbohydrates and soup. A very hearty and filling dish specially when served with saltine crackers, toast bread or dinner rolls.
I love this dish specially the seafood chowder, we usually make them once in a while, it combines two of the elements I love in a dish, something creamy and with tons of seafood.
- 1 kg mussels, shell on
- 200 g shrimps, shelled and deveined
- 200 g squid, sliced
- 200 g fleshy fish, cubed (I used a mix of ling fish and salmon in this recipe)
- 150 g scallops
- 150 g lobster tail meat, cubed
- 3 large potatoes, cubed
- 1 cup corn kernels
- 2 stalks celery, sliced
- 3 pcs streaky bacon, finely chopped
- 50 g butter
- 1 cup cream
- 1 litre seafood stock
- 4 tbsp flour
- 1 onion, minced
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- freshly ground black pepper
- In a pot, bring to a boil 1 litre seafood stock together with the mussels. Once the mussels are opened, turn the heat off.
- Remove mussels from the pot, let it cool down then separate mussels from the shells and set aside.
- In a separate pot add the bacon and butter together, cook until golden brown then add and sauté the onions and celery.
- Add the flour then mix it until it form a roux.
- Pour the stock slowly into the roux and mix well until free of lumps.
- Add potatoes, corn and nutmeg. Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Add shrimps, squid, lobster tail meat, mussels and cream, bring to a boil and simmer for additional 3 minutes
- Add fish and scallops then simmer for additional 2 minutes.
- Season with salt and pepper.