Shrimp and Corn Chowder

The grated plantain in this coastal Ecuadoran soup gives the dish a wonderfully light and creamy body.


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  • Servings: 6

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  • 2 pounds medium shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 scallions, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • Salt
  • 2 cups fresh or thawed frozen corn kernels
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons Annatto Oil
  • 1 large red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3 plum tomatoes—peeled, seeded and finely chopped
  • 6 cups fish or chicken stock or canned low-sodium broth
  • 1 unripe (green) plantain, peeled and coarsely grated
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Tangy Corn Salsa, for serving

How to make this recipe

  1. In a large, shallow glass or stainless-steel bowl, toss the shrimp with two-thirds of the minced garlic, the scallions, lime juice and 1 teaspoon of salt. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or for up to 3 hours.

  2. In a food processor, puree the corn with the milk. Pour the puree through a coarse strainer, pressing on the solids to extract as much liquid as possible.

  3. Heat the Annatto Oil in a large sauce-pan or enameled cast-iron casserole. Add the remaining garlic, onion, bell pepper and cumin and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until the vegetables are slightly softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and cook for 2 minutes longer. Add the corn milk, stock, plantain, cilantro and cayenne and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderately low heat until very flavorful, about 20 minutes.

  4. Pour the soup through a coarse strainer. Working in batches, puree the vegetables in a blender. Return the puree and the strained broth to the saucepan and bring to a simmer. Add the shrimp and its marinade and cook over moderate heat until the shrimp are just opaque throughout, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and serve in warmed soup plates or bowls with the Tangy Corn Salsa.

Contributed By Photo © Stewart Ferebee Published May 2001

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