Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Mexican Shrimp & Sweet Corn Chowder

Chilly nights are back...warm things up with this oh so rich and delicious soup. A perfect blend of smoke, spice, and sweet ~ this creamy chowder is made with skim milk so it's low in fat but high in flavor.
2 tablespoons butter
1 small onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, sliced
1 teaspoon salt
4 small red potatoes, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons flour
1-1/2 teaspoons cumin
1/2 teaspoon coriander (optional)
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
2 cups skim milk
2 cups shrimp stock*
1 pound shrimp, peeled, deveined and coarsely chopped (reserve shrimp shells to make stock)
1 cup fresh or frozen corn, thawed
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

Melt butter in a 4-quart pot and cook onion, celery and salt over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add potatoes and garlic and cook for 5 minutes or until potatoes are almost tender, stirring occasionally.  Stir flour, cumin, coriander and chipotle chili powder into vegetables and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.  Stir in milk and stock and bring to a boil over high heat.  Reduce heat to low and simmer chowder for 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender.  Add shrimp and corn, return to a simmer, and cook 5 minutes or until shrimp turn pink.  Stir in cilantro and serve with diced avocado and lime.

*To make shrimp stock, place shrimp shells and 4 cups water in a saucepan.  Add any veggie scraps from the recipe prep: onion peel, celery leaves, tops or bottoms.  Add 1 or 2 whole unpeeled garlic cloves, about 10 peppercorns, 1 bay leaf and 1 teaspoon salt.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer uncovered for at least 30 minutes.  The longer the stock simmers, the more flavor it will have.  Strain solids and reserve stock.

You can also use vegetable stock, or store bought seafood stock or clam juice.

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