A tasty, flavorful chowder is the ultimate comfort food on a rainy night.
Friday night, Mother Nature put on a show. An impressive downpour peppered with flashes of lightning and booming thunder added to the feeling of FALL in the air. A glance at the weather forecast indicated that we were in for more of the same on Saturday. It seemed like the perfect weather to make something delish in the kitchen, so I took a gander at a few of the “must make” recipes I’ve been stashing. I found an ideal early-fall meal on one of my very favorite blogs: Posie Gets Cozy.
Take a look at this blog. There is no way you don’t want to pull a nubby throw blanket over your toes, accept a hot cup of tea (fragranced with cinnamon), and settle into this cozy paradise. The photography is absolutely magical! Every shot is a perfect representation of comfort, the kind of detailed, vintage beauty that we rarely see in today’s world. I adore this blog and the lovely life it depicts. It inspires me to look at my own surroundings with a different eye, one that pauses on the everyday moments and simply reveres them.
I’ve never made a recipe from this site, but the Curried Potato-Shrimp Chowder seemed perfect for an evening on the cusp of chilly weather. Alicia seemed a tad apprehensive at posting a recipe she came up with herself. I can relate; recently, I’ve been trying to create things in the kitchen on my own (and share them). It’s quite different than following a recipe! That said, last night, I followed a recipe.
And it was ridiculously good.
Mid-day, the power went out. The sky grew darker by the minute, and I made my way to a semi-bright corner with a stack of magazines and my new Joy the Baker cookbook. There’s something about a storm that makes one want to batten down the hatches and hole up. And I did.
It was, in fact, a great day to try a new chowder recipe! I gathered my ingredients, poured a glass of wine, and got to work.
This recipe began how most of my favorite recipes begin: WITH BACON. I chopped up a few slices (more than the recipe called for) and browned them.
I chopped up the basics of many yummy soups, stews, and sauces: onion, carrot, celery. I only used one Yukon Gold potato (the recipe asked for two). Into the pot they went! Confession: instead of draining the bacon grease and starting over with olive oil, I just used the bacon drippings. (Please.)
The chopped garlic and a generous handful of yellow curry joined the party, and then I added a quart of chicken stock. The veggies simmered away in the tub for awhile until they were all relaxed and soft.
Next came the corn and peas, which had been thawing all this time. It didn’t take long for them to warm up in the pot, so it was time for the star: shrimp. (The bacon crumbles, too!) The last addition to the soup while it simmered was the thick part of a can of coconut milk. I just opened the can and spooned it out, right into the pot.
The storm had picked up some strength outside. It was CHOWDER TIME. I topped each bowl of yumminess with chopped tomato and fresh basil. We had some tasty warm bread on the side for dipping, too!
And perfect for last night! A chowder is usually cream-based and tends to feel heavy, but the broth-and-coconut-milk base somehow kept it feeling light. This chowder is waving goodbye to summer… but not quite welcoming winter. Kind of like me.
We added just a shake of dried spicy peppers (serrano, Thai chile, habanero, jalapeno) for a little more heat, but other than that, the flavors were totally balanced. We listened to the rain pelting onto the metal roof outside, feeling cozy and content inside with our bowls of curried love.
The weather is supposed to be gray and wet today, too. And I’ve got a new cookbook.
Just WAIT until you see what I have in store…