Remember when you were a kid and did strange things with your food at the dinner table? Like make a mountain of mashed potatoes in the center and a moat of gravy with green peas sprinkled around like trees? I should have become a food stylist. I have continue to do fun things with the food I’m serving through the years. The kids enjoyed meatloaf volcanos or carved watermelon beasts spewing watermelon chunks. One year a pumpkin monster vomited out guacamole.
Food and Wine Magazine has a wonderfully tempting website full of recipes. I’m always pinning them and hoping for a special occasion to try a recipe or two. Since my P.S. doesn’t eat shellfish I would make my own special occasion to try this recipe for a corn and shrimp chowder. It intrigued me with its mound of mashed potatoes in the center of the bowl of soup. That was similar to a chicken noodle soup recipe I’d tried from The Chew.
I’d bought a pound of cooked shrimp with tails on. After I thawed the shrimp I removed the tails and cleaned them thoroughly. This bag of shrimp had a few that weren’t fully cleaned of the black bits of shrimp poop! Icky. Gone. I put the shrimp back into a container in the fridge until I was ready to make my soup.
In a large saucepan over medium low heat I drizzled some canola oil then sautéed the onion and carrot for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. The last two minutes I added the garlic and sautéed that as well. The recipe had the garlic cooking five minutes with the onion and carrot but I knew from experience the garlic would brown too much and become bitter.
I added the chicken broth and dill seed to the saucepan, turned up the heat and let it come to a boil. I placed a cover on the saucepan and let it simmer for 15 minutes on medium-low heat.
Meanwhile I cooked the cut up potatoes in a separate saucepan of salted water until they were fork tender. I drained the potatoes and put them back on the stove. I added some salt and pepper and gradually added 3/4 cup of cream and the butter. I mashed them well then taste tested for seasoning. I added a little more salt and put the lid on the saucepan to keep them warm.
While the potatoes cooked I had added the corn to the saucepan of broth and cooked it for about 15 minutes. Rather than use a blender I used an immersion blender to puree the corn. That was a mistake. I couldn’t get it very smooth with only the stick blender.
I hauled out the real blender and added the soup to the container. It was almost to the top and I briefly wondered if I should have done this in two batches. Oh well, I’d see. I did put a towel on top of the lid and held down hard as I hit the “liquefy” button. Good thing, the blender jumped up and wanted to become a soup volcano. I let it liquefy for maybe 2 minutes, then took the lid off and stirred. Still not really smooth so I started again, remembering to hold down the lid again, and gave it another 2 minutes.
I was disappointed that it didn’t get super creamy. There were corn bits floating throughout the soup but I gave up. It would have to do. I had been skeptical when I saw the pictures on the blog where I found the recipe. The soup looked way too creamy, with no lumps. I had wondered even then if that creaminess was possible using corn.
I added the cooked shrimp to the pureed corn just to heat it through, about 2 minutes. I added the remaining cream, the parsley and a little more fresh black pepper and my soup was ready.
I place 1/4 of the mashed potatoes in a mound in the center of my bowl, then poured some soup around it. I couldn’t wait to eat this little masterpiece!
So wonderful on my tongue! This chowder was creamy deliciousness at its finest. The pureed corn broth, the chewy shrimp, the gooey spoonful of mashed potatoes all come together in a good way. I’d never have thought to put together this combination and I’m happy to have found the recipe. I had leftovers for several more meals and I was looking forward to them.
Corn and Shrimp Chowder with Mashed Potatoes
A rich and creamy corn chowder with shrimp served over a mound of mashed potatoes.
- 1 tablespoon oil (I used canola)
- 1 onion; chopped (about 1/2 cup)
- 1 carrot; chopped (about 1/2 cup)
- 1 clove garlic; chopped (I used a teaspoon of minced garlic)
- 3 1/2 cups chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon dill seeds (not dill weed)
- 2 pounds red potatoes; cut in 1″ chunks (I peeled them- your choice)
- 3/4 teaspoons salt
- Fresh-ground black pepper
- 6 tablespoons butter; room temperature
- 3/4 cup + 1/4 cup heavy cream or milk; divided
- 3 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels (I used 2 15 oz cans; drained)
- 1 1/2 pounds medium shrimp; shelled (I used 1 pound)
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley; chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
Add the broth and dill seeds and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for about 20 minutes.
In a separate saucepan of salted water, bring the potatoes to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain the potatoes and put them back into the saucepan along with 3/4 teaspoon of salt and a pinch of pepper. Mash the potatoes over very low heat, gradually incorporating the butter and 3/4 cup of the cream. Set aside and keep warm.
Add the corn to the broth and simmer, covered, until the corn is just tender, about 15 minutes. In a blender, puree the chowder and then pour it back into the saucepan. Make sure you hold the lid down with a towel so it doesn’t erupt! It is probably safest to puree it in two batches.
Add the shrimp and the remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt to the pureed corn. Bring to a simmer and cook until the shrimp are almost done, about 1 minute. Stir in the remaining 1/4 cup cream, the parsley, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper and bring just back to a simmer.
Spoon the mashed potatoes into the center of four bowls and pour the chowder around them.
Tip: I do suggest you don’t salt anything until the end. Canned chicken broth and canned corn can be salty and that would ruin the chowder. Only add salt at the end if you taste and find it lacking. If you use fresh corn and your own broth, you’ll need more salt of course.
Adapted from Food and Wine