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seafood essentials: spicy shrimp/sausage chowder

Recipe by
Andy Anderson !
Wichita, KS

This is a chowder that I always order when in the Caymans. Spicy, but with just the perfect amount of heat. I talk about my history with the chowder later in the recipe, suffice to say if you like shrimp chowder with a deep flavored tomato base, you will love this recipe. So, you ready… Let’s get into the kitchen.

yield 4 - 5
prep time 15 Min
cook time 1 Hr
method Stove Top

Ingredients For seafood essentials: spicy shrimp/sausage chowder

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  • 2 - 3 slice
    slab bacon, chopped
  • 1/2 md
    yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 md
    carrot, chopped
  • 2 - 3 clove
    garlic, minced
  • 14 oz
    diced tomatoes, fire roasted, 1 can
  • 10 oz
    tomato purée, 1 can
  • 1 c
    fish stock
  • 1 c
    clam juice
  • 1 c
    chicken stock, not broth
  • 5 - 6 sm
    golden or red potatoes, diced, peeling optional
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  • 12 oz
    shrimp, peeled, deveined, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 10 oz
    precooked smoked sausage, diced
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  • 1 lg
  • 1 lg
  • 1 lg
  • ********************************
  • 1/2 tsp
    dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp
    dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp
    dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp
    celery salt
  • 1/2 tsp
    mustard powder, i prefer coleman’s
  • 1/2 tsp
    ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp
    ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp
    smoked paprika
  • ********************************
  • rice wine vinegar
  • tabasco sauce
  • lime juice
  • oyster crackers

How To Make seafood essentials: spicy shrimp/sausage chowder

  • 1
  • 2
    What will you need? There are a lot of bits to this recipe, but it can be made in a single pot with a lid. If you have a Dutch oven, that would be ideal.
  • 3
    What is it? This is my take on a chowder that I always get when diving in the Caymans. I take a side tour where we go diving for conch, then we boat over to this small sandbar where the tour guides have a small portable kitchen set up. The chef makes this totally AWESOME conch chowder. I have been playing with the recipe for years, and I finally got what I was looking for. The problem is that getting good conch in Kansas is just about impossible… Well, let’s face it, it IS impossible. So, I subbed shrimp, and to make it a bit hardier, I threw in some diced smoked sausage. But the star of the show is the chowder base. It is so good you could eat it without shrimp or smoked sausage. As a matter of fact, you could use it as a base with beef, pork, or other types of seafood… It is that good.
  • 4
    What to serve with it? This chowder is very filling, so you do not need much to go with it. Possibly a small side salad, and some crackers. I would have some limes, hot sauce, and rice wine at the table.
  • 5
    How to store it? In the fridge, you will have about 5 – 6 days before it begins to lose flavor. However, this chowder can be frozen, and in that case, will store for 4 – 6 months.
  • 6
    The Chilies You can use fresh or dried chilies. The three I am using bring depth of flavor and some good heat. I used dried chilies, which I removed the seeds from, soaked for about 30 minutes in boiling water, and then chopped up. If you are using fresh chilies, remove the seeds, and chop. As to the type of chilies, use whatever you like. The choice of chilies will, of course, influence the final flavor of the dish. The Shrimp Fresh or frozen shrimp are fine, just make sure that they have their shells and tails removed, and deveined. As to size… What you want is bite-size, so most any size will do, just cut them up into good sized pieces. So, the larger the shrimp, the more pieces per shrimp you will have. The Paprika I think that for overall flavor smoked paprika is the best; however, hot would be my second choice, and mild a distant third. The Sausage Nothing fancy, I used some Johnsonville smoked all-beef sausage, and removed the skin before dicing. The Potatoes Golden or red waxy varieties are the best for this recipe, because they will not break down during the cooking process.
  • 7
    Gather your ingredients (mise en place).
  • 8
    This recipe really benefits from prepping your ingredients. Chop up the bacon, onion, carrot, and mince the garlic. Add all of the dry spices to a small prep bowl and set aside. Cut up the shrimp and smoked sausage into bite-size pieces, then cover and place into the fridge until needed. Dice up the potatoes and place in a small bowl of water with a drop or two of lemon juice (to keep them from browning), and reserve.
  • 9
    Add the bacon to your pot, set the heat to just above low, then slowly cook until it just begins to crisp, and renders all of its fat, about 15 minutes.
  • 10
    Add the chopped onions, carrots, and minced garlic.
  • 11
    Cook over low heat, covered, until they begin to soften, but not brown or burn, about 15 minutes.
  • 12
    Add the dry spices and stir to combine.
  • 13
    Cover, and allow to cook for about 15 minutes.
  • 14
    Add the chilies and stir to combine.
  • 15
    Add the tomatoes and tomato puree, stir to combine, then cover for about 15 minutes.
  • 16
    Mix the clam juice, fish, and chicken stock together in a bowl or measuring cup.
  • 17
    Add to the pot, stir to combine, then cover for about 15 minutes.
  • 18
    Add the potatoes.
  • 19
    Turn the heat up to achieve a simmer, then simmer, covered until the potatoes soften, about 15 minutes.
  • 20
    Add the shrimp and smoked sausage, and simmer until the shrimp are cooked through, about 5 – 6 minutes.
  • 21
    At this final stage, add a bit of lime juice, rice vinegar, hot sauce, and possibly a bit more spice, to taste.
  • 22
  • So Yummy
    Serve while nice and hot. Enjoy.
  • Stud Muffin
    Keep the faith and keep cooking.
  • 25

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