- ACTIVE: 45 MIN
- TOTAL TIME: 1 HR
- SERVINGS: 6
There are several tricks to this terrific chowder from Linton Hopkins of Restaurant Eugene and Holeman and Finch Public House in Atlanta. He adds potato chunks to the broth for thickness, then pours in a little naturally low-fat buttermilk for creamy tanginess. And instead of fatty bacon, he uses smoked oysters to give the chowder a slightly woodsy flavor.
- 3 cups water
- 1 cup bottled clam broth
- 1/2 pound medium shrimp—shelled, deveined and quartered, shells reserved
- 6 garlic cloves—4 smashed, 2 minced
- 1/4 cup dry sherry
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 onion, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 small fennel bulb, cored and finely diced (1/2 cup)
- 1 celery rib, finely diced
- 1 small green bell pepper, finely diced
- One 14-ounce can peeled Italian tomatoes, finely chopped and juices reserved
- 1 medium baking potato, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 6 ounces skinless grouper or cod fillet, cut into 1-inch pieces
- One 3-ounce can smoked oysters, drained and chopped
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
- In a large saucepan, combine the water and clam broth with the shrimp shells, smashed garlic, sherry, crushed red pepper, bay leaves and one third of the onion. Bring to a boil and simmer, covered, over low heat for 20 minutes. Strain the shrimp stock into a heatproof bowl and discard the solids.
- In a soup pot, heat the oil. Add the fennel, celery, bell pepper, minced garlic and the remaining onion. Cover and cook over moderate heat, stirring once or twice, until the vegetables are barely softened, 3 minutes. Uncover and cook until tender, 3 minutes longer. Add the tomatoes with their juices and the shrimp stock; bring to a simmer. Add the potato, season with salt and pepper and simmer until just tender, 15 minutes. Add the shrimp, grouper, oysters and Worcestershire sauce; simmer until cooked through, 3 minutes. Off the heat, stir in the buttermilk and parsley. Serve in deep bowls.
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Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.