• Ingredients: 29
  • Serves: 11

Shrimp chowder with fennel with small white shrimp, small bulb fennel, olive oil, cloves garlic, 2 crushed and 3 finely chopped, dry white wine, water, kosher or sea salt, slab bacon, rind removed and cut into 1/3-inch dice, medium onion , thinly sliced, fennel seeds, finely chopped, crushed red pepper flakes, yukon gold, maine, pei, or other all-purpose potatoes, peeled, quartered, and sliced 1/4-inch thick, canned whole peeled tomatoes with their juice, finely chopped, heavy cream, freshly ground black pepper.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lb. small white shrimp
  • 1 small bulb fennel
  • 3 tbsps. olive oil
  • 5 cloves garlic, 2 crushed and 3 finely chopped
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 4 cups water
  • Kosher or sea salt
  • 4 oz. slab bacon, rind removed and cut into 1/3-inch dice
  • 1 medium onion , thinly sliced
  • 1/4 tsp. fennel seeds, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 1/2 lb. Yukon Gold, Maine, PEI, or other all-purpose potatoes, peeled, quartered, and sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 1 cup canned whole peeled tomatoes with their juice, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • Freshly ground black pepper

For toasts

For soup

  • Accompaniment: pumpkin seed pesto

For serving:

  • 5 tbsps. butter, melted
  • 12 fresh basil leaves
  • Fresh thyme sprigs

For Oysters

  • 12 fresh oysters in the shell
  • 4 tbsps. Matsuhisa Salsa
  • 4 tbsps. Maui Onion Salsa
  • 4 tbsps. Jalapeño Salsa
  • finely chopped chives for garnish

For plating

  • Special equipment: cheesecloth; a deep-fat thermometer

For assembly

Directions

  1. Step 1 1. Peel the shrimp, reserving the shells. (It is impractical to devein small shrimp, but if you are using the larger ones, I recommend that you do.) Split the shrimp lengthwise in half down the back, cover, and refrigerate until needed.

    For this step you will need

  2. Step 2 2. Remove the fronds (lacy top) from the fennel, coarsely chop, and reserve for garnish, covered and refrigerated.

    For this step you will need

  3. Step 3 Trim off the tops and tough outer layers of the fennel and coarsely chop, reserve for the stock. Quarter the fennel bulb lengthwise, cut away the core, and cut very thinly across into 1/4- to 1/3-inch slices.

    For this step you will need

  4. Step 4 3. Add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and the 2 crushed garlic cloves to a 10- to 12- inch high-sided skillet or sauté pan and heat over medium-high heat until the garlic begins to brown.

    For this step you will need

  5. Step 5 Add the shrimp shells and sauté for 5 minutes, or until the shells turn red and are very aromatic.

    For this step you will need

  6. Step 6 Add the fennel trimmings, the wine, and water, bring to a simmer, and simmer for 20 minutes. Season lightly with salt.

    For this step you will need

  7. Step 7 4. Heat a 4- to 6-quart heavy pot over low heat and add the bacon. Once it has rendered a few tablespoons of fat, increase the heat to medium and cook until the bacon is a crisp golden brown.

    For this step you will need

  8. Step 8 5. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and chopped garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the onion, sliced fennel, fennel seeds, and optional crushed red pepper and sauté, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, for about 10 minutes, until the onion and fennel are softened but not browned.

    For this step you will need

  9. Step 9 6. Add the potatoes and the reserved shrimp stock. The stock should just barely cover the potatoes; if it doesn’t, add enough water to cover.

    For this step you will need

  10. Step 10 Turn up the heat and bring to a boil. Cover the pot and cook the potatoes vigorously for about 8 minutes, until they are soft on the outside but still firm in the center.
  11. Step 11 If the broth hasn’t thickened lightly, smash a few potatoes against the side of the pot and cook a minute or two longer to release their starch.
  12. Step 12 7. Reduce the heat to medium, add the tomatoes, and simmer for 5 minutes more. Stir in the shrimp and cook for 1 minute, then remove the pot from the heat and stir in the cream.

    For this step you will need

  13. Step 13 Let sit for 10 minutes while the shrimp finish their slow cooking. Taste the chowder and season with black pepper and more salt if needed.

    For this step you will need

  14. Step 14 If you are not serving the chowder within the hour, let it cool a bit, then refrigerate; cover the chowder after it has chilled completely.
  15. Step 15 8. When ready to serve, reheat the chowder over low heat; don’t let it boil. Ladle into cups or bowls, making sure that the shrimp, fennel, potatoes, and bacon are evenly divided.

    For this step you will need

  16. Step 16 In keeping with the humble spirit of chowder, I use small shrimp (26 to 40 count per pound), which are less expensive than the larger ones.

    For this step you will need

  17. Step 17 I also like this size because I can just slice the shrimp lengthwise in half, maintaining their natural curved shape, which is similar to the fennel.

    For this step you will need

  18. Step 18 But larger shrimp are just fine for chowder if you cut them into bite-sized pieces; actually, their texture is a little better than the smaller shrimp.

    For this step you will need

  19. Step 19 For equipment, you will need a 10- to 12-inch high-sided skillet or sauté pan, a fine-mesh strainer, a 4- to 6-quart heavy pot with a lid, a wooden spoon, and a ladle.

    For this step you will need

Nutrition information

Calories 299 Carbohydrates 19 g (6%)
Fat 23 g (35%) Protein 4 g (9%)
Saturated Fat 11 g (53%) Sodium 714 mg (30%)
Polyunsaturated Fat 2 g Fiber 3 g (12%)
Monounsaturated Fat 9 g Cholesterol 57 mg (19%)