Bites and Booze

Gluten Free, Dairy Free Seafood Chowder

Seafood Chowder

I was watching my porn channel (The Food Network) and I stumbled upon an episode of Barefoot Contessa, where Ina Garten makes a Seafood Chowder.  It looked amazing and super simple.  But, man, she was the original Gwyneth.  Talking about her fishmongers and how they will have seafood stock (if you don’t want to make it) and how fresh and local it all is in The Hamptons.  Which is amazing and so ChikFood. (All of that local, freshness? Yes, please.)  But, she’s Ina Garten and she lives in The Hamptons.  But, here’s the reality… I live on the west coast also in a beach town and some of the ingredients were still hard to find and/or were sooo expensive.  So, I can’t imagine it’s very easy in middle America with no local oceans, you know?  I made some modifications and I also made it gluten and dairy free, so it’s more accessible to those with allergies or sensitive tummies (like me).  It can still get a little pricey, but you can find most of the fish in the frozen section of your supermarket if you can’t find it fresh.  And, remember, to try and buy WILD seafood.  But, Ina does know what she’s doing… It tastes AMAZING, especially as leftovers. “This is even yummier than it was yesterday,” my four year old told me with her mouth full of omega 3’s.  Enjoy! (And, make the seafood stock.  It’s so much easier than you think.)

YIELD: 3 quarts
COOK TIME: 1 hour 45 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 2 hours 10 minutes

Seafood Stock

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons grape seed oil
shells from one pound large shrimp
2 cups chopped yellow onions
2 carrots, unpeeled and chopped
3 stalks celery chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup white wine
1/3 cup tomato paste
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
10 springs fresh thyme, including stems

Directions:

Warm the oil in a stockpot over medium heat. Add the shrimp shells, onions, carrots, and celery and saute for 15 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add the garlic and cook 2 more minutes. Add 1 1/2 quarts of water, the white wine, tomato paste, salt, pepper, and thyme. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 1 hour. Strain through a sieve, pressing the solids. You should have approximately 1 quart of stock. You can make up the difference with water or wine if you need to.

Gluten Free, Dairy Free Seafood Chowder

Ingredients:

1 pound large shrimp (save shells for stock)
1/2 pound scallops
1/2 pound monkfish (Or, any firm whitefish, I used halibut.)
1/2 pound fresh lump crab meat (I used fresh canned crab. It’s a thing… And, it’s good.)
1/4 cup non-dairy butter (I used Earth Balance.)
1 cup peeled and medium-diced carrots
1/2 cup medium-diced yellow onion
1 cup medium-diced celery
1 cup medium-diced small potatoes
1 cup ORGANIC/NON-GMO corn kernels, fresh or frozen (Ina only called for a 1/2 cup, but I felt it needed more.)
1/4 cup arrowroot (mix it with an equal amount of water to make a paste)
1 recipe seafood stock (recipe above)
1 1/2 tablespoons coconut milk (The kind you cook with, not the kind you use in your cereal.  It’s usually canned. Buy the organic kind there are no/less preservatives.)
2 tablespoons minced parsley
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Cut the shrimp, scallops, and monkfish (or other white meaty fish) into bite-sized pieces and place them in a bowl with the crabmeat.

In a heavy-bottomed pot, melt the non-dairy butter; add the carrots, onions, celery, potatoes, and corn and saute over medium-low heat for 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are barely cooked, stirring occasionally. Add the arrowroot paste; reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring often, for 3 minutes. Add the Seafood Stock and bring to a boil. Add the seafood; reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 7 to 10 minutes, until the fish is just cooked. Add the coconut milk and the parsley. Add salt and pepper to taste, and serve.

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Jennifer Sorenson
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