I went to one of the upmarket food stores in the city with Barbara two weeks ago and bought a tub of seafood chowder to try. The cook made this with coconut milk and load of thyme. Bob ate this and said he did not think it was improved from basic recipes. So the following week I made my version of Seafood Chowder from basic American recipe – completed with not so Oyster crackers.
100 grams prawn meat, chopped
200 grams firm white fish, cubed
200 grams cooked mussels, chopped to chunky pieces
2 large potatoes, chopped
1 carrot, chopped in halves
½ onion, chopped
50 grams bacon, chopped
¼ cup cream
8oo ml fish stock or chicken stock
Several dashes of Sri Racha chilli sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
A tablespoon of chopped parsley or coriander to garnish
A bit of oil and butter for frying
Place prawn, fish and mussel pieces in a saucepan and add about a litre of water – bring to simmer and poach for about 15 minutes. Lift the meat and reserve the cooking liquid – this will be used as fish stock.
On medium high heat – brown the bacon pieces, add onion and a bit of butter and oil (you can omit butter and oil if your bacon pieces have already rendered enough oil). When onion is soft, add potatoes and carrots. Fry a few minutes further then add 800 ml of fish poaching liquid (add water to make up to 800 ml if needed). Bring to the boil, place the lid on and reduce heat to low. Simmer for about 30 minutes. Leave to cool for a bit and lift the carrot and a several pieces of potato. Blend the rest in the blender – your soup will be thick and creamy at this point – you don’t have to blend until totally smooth, just leave a few chunks of potato will also be nice. Return it to the sauce pan, chopped the carrot and add to the pan with potato pieces. Season with salt and pepper - I also use a bit of chicken stock powder. Bring to simmer – add fish, prawns and mussels. Simmer a bit further then add cream and chilli sauce. Ladle into a soup dish, sprinkle with chopped coriander and a round of white pepper. Serve warm with crackers.
For Not so-Oyster Crackers
1 Sheet of ready rolled Puff Pastry, thawed
Sea Salt and Black Pepper
My cheat’s crackers are quick and easy. Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees C. Just spread butter onto the pastry and sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper. Cut the pastry with sharp knife into 3 cm square. Bake until puffed and golden and you’re ready to go.
No complaints from Bob, so it must be quite OK:)