I love making chowders… all kinds of chowders. Or, as they say in New England: I want mo’ chowda.
But if the wisdom of talking about chowders in the middle of the Summer seems strange, then you haven’t been around Wichita, Kansas this year. The weather is wet and cool, and I can almost feel Autumn in the air… Well, almost.
This chowder is the result of today’s time in the old test kitchen. It’s Sunday, and no one is here but me… mad scientist at work.
3Remove the shells (leave the tails) from the shrimp, and devein. Reserve the shells.
4Mince the basil.
5In a bowl, mix the ingredients for the marinade, and add the shrimp.
6Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
8Remove the husks from the corn and clean off all the strands of silk.
9Remove the corn from the cobs, and reserve the cobs.
10Add the milk, cream, and chicken stock to a saucepan, and then add the corncobs and the shrimp shells.
11Bring up to a simmer, and then reduce slightly and keep warm.
12Add the diced bacon to a pot large enough to hold the ingredients for the chowder (cast iron is good).
13Cook over medium heat, until browned but not too crispy
14Remove from pot with a slotted spoon, and allow bacon to drain on paper towels.
15Dice the onion.
16Remove all but two tablespoons of bacon grease from the pot, and then add the onions. Cook over medium heat until softened and translucent, about 5 to 8 minutes. Do not let the onions brown or, heaven forbid, burn.
17Dice the potatoes (I leave the skins on).
18Add the diced potatoes, and cook for an additional 4 minutes.
19Remove the corncobs and shrimp shells from the milk/cream/stock mixture and add to the pot.
20Bring the mixture up to a light boil, and then immediately reduce to a slow simmer.
21Continue to simmer until the potatoes are nice and tender, about 10 to 15 minutes.
22Add the sweet corn and simmer for an additional 5 minutes.
23Remove about 1.5 cups of the solid material from the chowder by using a slotted spoon, and reserve.
24Add the softened cream cheese to the pot
25Puree the remainder of the soup in a food processor or use an immersion blender, until smooth.
26Return the solids back to the soup, and add the bacon.
Taste, and then add any additional spices, if needed.
27Remove the shrimp from the marinade, and discard the marinade.
28Add three shrimp to a skewer and then repeat for the other shrimp. You should have four skewers with threee shrimp on each skewer.
29Sear the shrimp skewers on a hot grill pan, or on your BBQ, for 2 to 3 minutes per side.
30Ladle the soup into four bowls, place the shrimp skewers over the bowl, and serve with the lime wedge. Enjoy