Monday, January 21, 2013

My First Attempt At Chowder

   So, yesterday I posted a (may I say fabulous) picture of some Seafood Chowder that I made for dinner.. Let me tell you, it looked pretty good, but MAN! All it was missing was a cool ocean breeze, and a seagull "gulling" in the background. This chowder was thick, creamy, seafood-y, a dish reminiscent of a Galveston Island restaurant tucked back in the corner where the ocean meets the bay! Well, I guess I'll be nice and give out the recipe to this chowder from heaven. Only thing is, I didn't really go by a recipe, so some things are guessed and not measured. This isn't rocket science though, it's very simple. Just doesn't taste like it. So wow your family, or house guests with this lovely Seafood Chowder a la Jessica. 


Big pot of water

1 Pound bacon (AND IT'S DRIPPINGS!)

1 medium-large onion

1/2 cup flour

2 of those packets of chicken "Flavor Boosters" by Swan or 2 tablespoons chicken bouillon

10-12 small-medium potatoes peeled, chopped, and washed. (Mine were chopped small-er)

1 1/2 pounds small fresh shrimp, peeled, devained and rinsed well.

3 Swai fillets (This fish choice is up to you. We love the individually wrapped Swai fillets from Krogers, they are always great tasting, fast defrosting and cooking, and cheap!)

Seasonings, I used 
Black Pepper
Garlic Powder
Lemon Pepper
Tony's Creole Seasoning
A little lemon juice for the fish

Start out by getting a big pot of water on to boil. 
   Get a nice dutch oven, or soup pot and cook about a pound of bacon until crispy, remove bacon, chop up into little pieces and set them aside, and save those drippings! Put them in a coffee cup for the time being. (This is southerner's gold! Bacon drippings are the best for any fried anything.)
   Cook your onions in about 2 tablespoons of bacon drippings until desired done-ness. I like mine brown and sweet. Season with salt and pepper.
   Once your onions are cooked, add in about 2 tablespoons more of the drippings, and flour. Whisk until a nice light brown color. Just to cook flour taste out. Season with salt and pepper.
   Grab a ladle and start ladling in your boiling water until you've got about 10 cups of water.     Whisk whisk!! 
   Add in your chicken bouillon. Keep on whisking. You don't want lumpy soup.
Give it one more good stir, and add it your peeled, cut potatoes. Cover, and let them cook for about 30 minutes at a rolling boil. Stir every once in a while. Season very well with salt, and garlic powder. I used some Tony's seasoning too. 
   Here's your time to cook the good stuff. Have your small-medium shrimp, cleaned and de-vained. And your fish ready to cook.
   Line a pan with foil, lay your fish out, and season with salt, pepper, lemon pepper, garlic powder (anything you like on your fish) and some lemon juice. Bake in a 375 degree oven for about 30 minutes, (this all depends on your fish! Just cook it till it's done!) Once done, break into medium sized pieces. (maybe a little bigger than a bite)
   As for your shrimp, dry them off, and cook in a cast iron skillet with those delicious bacon drippings and the same seasonings as your fish.. Just make sure they're seasoned well! Cook them until they're pink and curled up. Don't overcook! They'll be rubbery, and that's no good. 
   Once your potatoes are cooked through,  turn your fire down and start adding in all your reserved food. Bacon pieces, fish, shrimp, and you can even throw in some fresh chives at this point. 
  Pour in your half and half, stir well, and turn off the fire. 
Let it sit a couple minutes to let the flavors meld, and serve with a big ol piece of crusty bread for dipping!

It's soo simple! You could even use pre-cooked shrimp and fish to make a quick dinner!! I just prefer the taste of fresh seafood!

I hope I didn't miss anything! Let me know how y'all like it if you DO try to make it!

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