Another recipe for a quick supper, shrimp and scallops in a milky broth, with barely cooked tomato, corn and my favorite vegetable this summer, okra.
Don't like okra? No problem, green beans are great too!
Come August, my northern soul longs for cooler climes. This year, a week in British Columbia was penciled in, then erased. Then a heat wave descended upon Missouri, temps climbed into the high 90s for weeks on end. My garden wilted, I wilted.
So I was okra-green with envy when friends headed to northern Michigan earlier this month, packing up cooking gear and garden vegetables for ten days at a family cabin Anne (readers know Anne as the Pastry Whisperer of Flaky Tender Pie Crust fame, St. Louisans know her from Kitchen Conservatory, St. Louis' great kitchen store and cooking school) has been visiting since she was a girl.
Some times Anne blogs about the relaxed cooking that happens in a summer cabin on a northern lake. This year, her fish and sausage chowder appeared in my mailbox just as plans to attend a hog roast were cancelled (too hot) and my supper ideas were nixed (too fussy). A quick stop at the fish store and an hour later, supper was on the table and if I closed my eyes, I could imagine the sun setting across a lake not a pool, a cool wind rustling in the pines not the stillness of a sticky Missouri evening, a light sunburn on my cheeks instead of the chill of air conditioning on my shoulders.
I had been transported to a cooler place. All was well, all is well.
SUMMER SEAFOOD CHOWDER
Time to table: 30 minutes
- 1 tablespoon bacon grease or another fat
- 1 onion, chopped in large pieces
- 1 green pepper, chopped in large pieces
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 cups 1% milk
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning (see TIPS)
- Salt & pepper to taste
SEAFOOD & VEGETABLES
- 1/2 pound fresh scallops
- 1/2 pound fresh shrimp, shells and tails removed, deveined
- 4 ears fresh corn, kernels sliced off the cob and the cobs ‘milked’
- 1/2 pound fresh okra, trimmed and sliced into small rounds (see TIPS)
- 1 large tomato, chopped
- Slivers of butter, optional
MILK BASE In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the bacon grease til shimmery on medium high. Add the onion, green pepper and garlic as they’re prepped, stirring to coat with fat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is golden and the pepper cooked but still crisp. Add the milk, sugar, Old Bay and salt and pepper and bring just to a boil, but don’t allow to boil.
SEAFOOD & VEGETABLES Have the scallops, shrimp and vegetables ready before adding any of these. If the scallops are large, add them to the hot milk and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, otherwise add the scallops, shrimp, corn, okra and tomatoes all at once and let cook until until cooked through, about 2 – 3 minutes.
Taste and adjust the seasoning. If 1% milk is too ‘skinny’ for your taste, or for a touch of added richness, on the table add a sliver of butter to each bowl. Serve and savor!
Do You Carry On a Love Affair with Okra?
Funny story: At the farmers market one day, a little girl begged – I mean BEGGED – her mom to buy okra. "Please-please-please-PLEASE, Mom, let's buy okra!" she pleaded. Her mom must have read surprise on my face because she rolled her eyes, then explained, "Fried okra". And it turns out, fried okra is a great way to kick off a love affair with okra. But don't stop there! Right now, the farmers market is overflowing with okra from the size of a thumb to the length of a hand. They are tender and lovely and when fresh, not the least bit gummy!
~ Garden Popcorn (Fried Okra) ~
~ Cornmeal Catfish with Warm Potato Salad ~
~ more okra recipes ~
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