Somehow the middle of a cold, dank, dark November seems exactly the moment to cook up a pan of seafood chowder full of tropical Asian flavors: ginger, curry, lime, garlic, and cilantro.
It’s like putting the promise of Spring into your mouth. This hearty, creamy, light green stew is rich, very low carb, and quick to throw together. You may omit the peanut butter, but it’s just wrong to omit the coconut milk. The following makes two or three servings.
THICK THAI-STYLE SEAFOOD CHOWDER
4 oz peeled shrimp
4 oz scallops
3 T butter
2 cloves smashed garlic
3 T ginger root, grated
1 or 2 T mild yellow curry powder
3/4 cup water or less—this soup is more of a stew, not brothy!
Put all this in a small pan, cover, and cook 2 or 3 minutes, stirring frequently, until the shrimps and scallops begin to look opaque.
Add: at least half of a very ripe avocado, chopped small
Cook 2 more minutes. Add:
3/4 c minced cilantro stems (the crunchy bit)
1/3 c coconut milk (full fat style—thick and creamy)
1 or 2 T smooth or crunchy peanut butter
1 T more butter
Stir until the butter is melted, the peanut butter is mixed in and the soup is a silky, creamy, light green.
When you serve this, add 1 or 2 T lime juice to each bowl and stir it in well.
Optional additions and substitutions
Add at the beginning, before you add the seafood:
1 small sweet potato, sliced or diced
6 to 8 oz. of chopped fresh mushrooms
1/2 c chopped cauliflower
and cook until the vegetable(s) are done. Then add the seafood.
Add at the end:
1/2 c chopped sweet onion (for sweet & crunchy)
2 T snipped-up dried seaweed—I use wakame or Maine dulse
Maxine has been waiting tables at Kettle’s gumbo shop for thirty-five years. Suddenly she seems to be growing younger. This may save her life: there’s a granny killer out there, frightening old women to death in their homes. And Maxine gradually remembers that she’s been lying about herself so long that she has come to believe her own lies. The secret may be in the gumbo.
Maxine’s story, Tragesangre, appears in Local Magics, available at Book View Cafe.