|I'm a sucker for baby squid (ooh, a pun!)|
Friday, February 13, 2015
Irish Scallop Chowder
by Sheila Connolly
from The Complete Irish Pub Cookbook 2012
If you think Irish pub food is dull and heavy on the cabbage, think again: this is a great cookbook that I treated myself to, with wonderful pictures, and I’ve bookmarked a lot of the recipes and am working my way through them. And of course I have to visit a lot of Irish pubs to make sure the recipes are accurate!
A few weeks ago I found that our local market had started to stock a new line of fish products: a mixture of shellfish, shrimp and whatever, flash-frozen. Since this recipe called for a variety of seafood, it was perfect, and it was exactly the right amount. I figured it had to be a sign that this dish would be on the menu.
It’s a fairly quick and easy recipe—and definitely tasty. I served it with St. Brigid’s bread, which rounded out a nice meal.
Irish Pub Scallop Chowder
3-1/2 Tblsp butter
9 oz large scallops, quartered
4 bacon strips, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, diced
2 carrots, diced
3 starchy potatoes (russets or Yukon Gold), diced
2 fresh thyme sprigs
2 cups chicken stock (or you could use fish stock)
2 cups whole milk, scalded
9 oz. mixed cooked seafood (shrimp, mussels, etc. (not fish)
salt and pepper
Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the scallops in batches (not all at once) and cook for 5 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove from the pan and set aside. [Note: you may find that the scallops release a lot of liquid, which makes it hard to brown them. Don't worry about it--you just want to cook the scallops lightly. The remaining liquid will cook down over the next few steps.]
Add the bacon to the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes, until it starts to brown.
Add the onion, celery, carrots, and potatoes. [I have a confession to make: I don’t really like celery. I find that if I include it in a dish—and I know a lot of recipes do!—the result always tastes too much like celery to me. It’s up to you if you want to include it.] Season with salt and pepper, then cover and cook over medium-low heat until the vegetables start to soften.
Add the thyme to the vegetables. Pour in the stock, cover the pan, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes, until the vegetables are soft.
Remove the thyme sprigs. Mash a few of the vegetable with a spoon, to thicken the soup. Pour in the milk (which will already be warm, since you scalded it--a microwave works well for this).
Add the scallops and mixed seafood to the pan. Cook until they are heated through but don=t let the mixture boil.
Serve in warm bowls.
Ah, yes, the book: An Early Wake, third in the County Cork Mysteries, released February 3rd.
#10 in Barnes & Nobles mass market mysteries! #12 in all Barnes & Noble mass market books! And! (Drumroll, please) #10 on the New York Times Mass Market Bestseller list!
The reviews have been so lovely. I'm thrilled that I've been able to make readers "see" Ireland the way I do, and now they want to visit. It's worth the trip!