Seafood Chowder

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wwltv.com

Posted on June 23, 2011 at 2:50 PM

 

2 cups onions, finely chopped
2 cups mushrooms, chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 stick butter or margarine
1 can Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 can Campbell’s Cream of Chicken Soup
1 can Campbell’s Cream of Celery Soup
1-1/2 cans evaporated milk
1-1/2 cans skim milk
lb. mild Mexican Velveeta Cheese, cubed
2 packages frozen broccoli, chopped, cooked, and drained
1 lb. crawfish tails and fat
2 tsp. Frank Davis Seafood Seasoning or Sprinkling Spice
½ cup minced flatleaf parsley, for garnish.

 

First, in a heavy aluminum 4-quart Dutch oven sauté the onions, mushrooms, and garlic in the butter until the mixture wilts and turns clear. It is important that you stir the pot almost continuously to drive off the moisture from the mushrooms and to keep the garlic from scorching.

When you feel that you’ve achieved a uniform blend in the seasoning veggies, immediately stir in all three canned soups, along with both the evaporated milk as well as the low-fat milk. All you do is stir, and stir, and stir some more until the chowder base is heated all the way through and barely begins to bubble.

Now, at this point, drip in the cheese and slowly stir it, too, until the cubes completely melt. Then drip in the broccoli, along with the crawfish tails and the crawfish fat. And again—yep—you got it! Stir everything until the chowder is thoroughly heated—actually, hot and bubbly!

Then, just minutes before you’re ready to eat, give the chowder its final seasoning—sprinkle on either seafood seasoning or the sprinkling spice in quantities sufficient to taste. All that’s left is to ladle out the dish into deep soup bowls, garnish with a pinch or two of fresh parsley, and serve either with garlic rounds or hot fresh French bread.

Warning! You’ll probably want to make this every time it turns cold!
 

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Chef's Notes:

1. Like red beans, jambalaya, etouffee, and a number of other dished, this recipe is always better the next day. The only problem with that philosophy is that few people admit that any of it last long enough to be eaten the next day.

2. This chowder is probably a prime example of what constitutes a true convenience dish. Essentially, all the ingredients in this recipe are "ready to eat" as is, which means there is relatively little actual cooking to do—most of it involves simply "combining and heating."

3. Just because the recipe is easy to do doesn’t mean it can’t be creative! Be receptive to making substitutions to create additional flavors and tastes: i.e. substitute crabmeat instead of crawfish tails; or put both crabmeat and crawfish tails; or leave out the crabmeat and crawfish tails and use chopped shrimp instead; or use chopped chicken or grilled sausage or just plain veggies with no meat! You decide—cuz whatever you come up with will be good.

4. Oh, yeah! You can make the recipe "Cajun spicy" just by spiking the dish about halfway through the cooking process wither with cayenne pepper or ground red pepper flakes.

5. If you prefer to use fresh broccoli (which is my choice), just cut the florets from the main broccoli stalk and drop them into boiling water for about a minute (don’t overcook them!) Then when they come out chop them into small pieces and add them to the chowder as I’ve indicated. This is the method to use if you’d like to serve additional broccoli as a side dish to the chowder.

6. For a different variation, instead of using butter or margarine to sauté the onions and mushrooms, substitute instead about 12 ounces of lean bacon, cut into small pieces to intensify the flavor of the chowder.

 

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