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.
Remove the shells (leave the tails) from the shrimp, and devein. Reserve the shells.
Mince the basil.
In a bowl, mix the ingredients for the marinade, and add the shrimp.
Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Remove the husks from the corn and clean off all the strands of silk.
Remove the corn from the cobs, and reserve the cobs.
Add the milk, cream, and chicken stock to a saucepan, and then add the corncobs and the shrimp shells.
Bring up to a simmer, and then reduce slightly and keep warm.
Add the diced bacon to a pot large enough to hold the ingredients for the chowder (cast iron is good).
Cook over medium heat, until browned but not too crispy
Remove from pot with a slotted spoon, and allow bacon to drain on paper towels.
Dice the onion.
Remove 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.
Dice the potatoes (I leave the skins on).
Add the diced potatoes, and cook for an additional 4 minutes.
Remove the corncobs and shrimp shells from the milk/cream/stock mixture and add to the pot.
Bring the mixture up to a light boil, and then immediately reduce to a slow simmer.
Continue to simmer until the potatoes are nice and tender, about 10 to 15 minutes.
Add the sweet corn and simmer for an additional 5 minutes.
Remove about 1.5 cups of the solid material from the chowder by using a slotted spoon, and reserve.
Add the softened cream cheese to the pot
Puree the remainder of the soup in a food processor or use an immersion blender, until smooth.
Return the solids back to the soup, and add the bacon.
Taste, and then add any additional spices, if needed.
Remove the shrimp from the marinade, and discard the marinade.
Add three shrimp to a skewer and then repeat for the other shrimp. You should have four skewers with threee shrimp on each skewer.
Sear the shrimp skewers on a hot grill pan, or on your BBQ, for 2 to 3 minutes per side.
Ladle the soup into four bowls, place the shrimp skewers over the bowl, and serve with the lime wedge. Enjoy