Yummmm…. seafood chowder!
Sometimes I get a craving, especially for the infrequently seen Manhattan type. And living here in North Carolina, I’m so blessed to have access to some of the best and freshest seafood around. This Farmers’ Market Spicy Seafood Chowder Base will give you goodness to keep on hand in the freezer to add fresh seafood anytime… chowder in minutes! Loaded with fresh veggies from your local farms and farmers’ markets…
This recipe makes about a gallon of chowder “base” to freeze in pints or quarts. Once you make a batch, you can quickly have fish or seafood chowder in minutes by simply heating and adding your choice! Although the chowder is tasty just as it is. I used beautiful fresh fried oysters for this shoot for the magazine, but have also made a full fledge “seafood-palooza” with a combo of fresh shrimp, scallops, oysters and fish “garnished” with a scattering of crab. Scrumptious…
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Farmers’ Market Spicy Seafood Chowder Base
- 12 slices bacon chopped
- 1 large sweet potato diced
- 1 medium onion diced
- 3 stalks celery diced
- 2 large carrots diced
- 1 large red bell pepper diced
- 2 large summer squash chopped
- 1-64 oz. V8 juice I use spicy but any will do!
- 2-14 oz. cans roasted diced tomatoes (in season, use equivalent fresh maters)
- 2-8 oz. bottles clam juice
- ¼ cup garlic paste
- ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
- 1 cup each loosely packed chopped fresh thyme and oregano
- 3 large stems fresh rosemary
- several bay leaves
- 3 tablespoons seafood seasoning I used Old Bay
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- salt and pepper to taste at the end
- 1 stick butter, divided
- In a heavy pot or Dutch oven, cook bacon, sweet potatoes and onions over medium heat for about 3 minutes to render some drippings. Add remaining fresh vegetables and sauté until al dente, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in remaining ingredients except butter and bring to a simmer. Cook 5-7 minutes until vegetables are tender. Season with salt and pepper as needed. Remove rosemary stems and bay leaves. Cool, package and enjoy or freeze. Stir in 2 tablespoons butter per quart to finish when serving.
- At chowder time: Heat base to a low simmer. Add fish pieces or seafood and cook just until done, making sure not to overcook. Most will be done in 3-5 minutes. Or, “garnish” warm chowder with cooked seafood. Add about 1 pound of seafood per quart or as desired.