My dad went through a soup phase. It’s not like he’s a huge cook or anything, but he can definitely hold his own beyond the grill. So one winter, he started making soups with some degree of regularity. Can’t really remember when it was, but I’ll never forget my favorite: Seafood Chowder.
I’ve only made it once or twice myself, but the first time I made it for Rick a couple of years ago, he said, “Andy (his friend) would love this.” Ever since then, we've talked about having him over.
It finally happened last Saturday. It was a couple of days after the Rickster’s birthday and we invited Andy and his wife, Jean, and another couple, Sally and John over for dinner. Since it’s been a while since I’ve made it, I couldn’t remember how much soup the recipe made, so I figured I’d double it.
Instead of hitting the standard box grocery store, I decided to splurge and visit the Hyde Park Fish Market. I’m not going to lie: it was pricey. But it was good quality fish and the service was outstanding. I highly recommend it and will go there again.
In retrospect, doubling the seafood wasn’t necessary. We had plenty left over and it was packed full of fish. If I ever double the recipe again, I’d probably just double the tomatoes and maybe do 1.5 times each of the main ingredients.
So if you like seafood, I highly recommend you give my dad’s recipe a try. You won’t be disappointed.
4 medium onions, chopped
1 large green pepper, chopped
¼ cup vegetable oil (seems like a lot, but it’s not with all the stuff to be sautéed)
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
3 (14.5 ounce) cans stewed tomatoes, undrained (I got the whole variety and wish I had gotten the sliced)
1 Tbsp. celery salt
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. hot sauce (I prefer Tabasco and I would use more if you like that sort of thing; I do)
½ tsp. pepper
2 pounds fresh medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
½ pound crab meat or scallops (I used both since I doubled it. If I had to choose, scallops all the way. If you use crab, feel free to get the cheaper ‘cut’ because I didn’t find the more expensive stuff to be any less stringy)
½ pint oysters, drained (they’re not for everyone, so feel free to leave out)
1 large fish fillet, cut into bite-size pieces (I used flounder; the fish monger suggested something light to complement the more fuller-bodied flavor of some of the other ingredients)
Sauté onion and green pepper in oil in a large sauce pan until tender: add flour, stirring until smooth. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in the next 6 ingredients; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer 15 minus. Add remaining ingredients; cover and simmer an additional 15 minutes. Enjoy! Yield: 12 cups.
A final note: Be careful not to overcook lest the shrimp get rubbery. Thanks, Dad.