Shoutout to Barbara for this one folks! Mother darling ( as I call her) was kind enough to share this family recipe with me. A equal parts creamy and broth-y seafood chowder with corn and bacon. Mom always does it with Shrimp and scallops but feel free to play here-try it with lobster, crab, or even chicken if you're not a seafood fan. Serves a crowd and always a winner! Just be sure to not skip the steps, like boiling the ears of corn and shrimp peels together, thats where the real flavor magic happens!
Time: 1 and 1/2 hour
1 lb of shrimp (raw with peels on)
1 lb of scallops
1 lb of red potatoes
1 red bell pepper
2 ears of corn ( husks and silk removed)
6 slices of bacon
2 tablespoons of butter
2 cups of heavy cream
salt and pepper
A large soup pot with lid that can hold up to 2 quarts.
Skillet or frying pan.
Take corn and cut off kernels and set aside, place the cobs in the soup pot.
Take shrimp, rinse under cold water, and remove peels and heads to add to the pot with the corn cobs. Put peeled shrimp back in the fridge covered to add to the chowder later.
Fill pot with water-about 6 cups-covering the peels and corn cobs. Salt the water and bring to a boil on the stove before covering and turning to simmer. It can simmer for about a 30 minutes.
Prep ingredients: Remove the bottom, top, and seeds from red pepper-dice into small pieces. Remove skin and root from onion and finely chop. Wash potatoes and cut into about 1/4 inch pieces (I leave skins on but you may peel potatoes if you prefer.)
Chop bacon into small thumbnail size pieces and add to skillet to sauté. When bacon is turning crispy add onion, red pepper, and corn kernels. Add butter and thyme leaves to the pan, stir to coat the bacon veggie mixture. Liberally salt and pepper.
At this point take a colander with a large heat proof bowl holding it (big enough to hold the water the peels and corn have been cooking in) and place in the sink. Pour water from soup pot through the colander to catch the peels and cobs.
Give soup pot a rinse if there is peel residue to be found on the surfaces.
Pour shrimp peel water back into the pot, place back on stove over high heat. Add the sautéed bacon and veggies to the water. Add in potatoes. Bring to a boil before turning to low and covering with a lid. Leave to simmer another 20 minutes.
When the potatoes are cooked through take a masher or fork to mash them up in the broth, this will help thicken it.
Add shrimp and scallops to the pot, they will only take about 5 minutes to cook.
Spoon some of the broth into the 2 cups of cream to temper it. Do not add cream straight to the soup as it is too hot and will cause it to curdle
Stir tempered cream into the pot and add more salt and pepper if need be.
Serve and enjoy
Serving suggestion: Sprinkle over Old Bay seasoning and garnish with jalapeño slices or more crispy bacon if desired.