Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Seafood Chowder or is it Soup?

Cook Meter: Amateur
Cost Meter:  $


Nick and I have been on a massive health kick doing this workout system called P90X. What it has meant is that my usual meals have gone down the gurgler and have now been replaced with some form of protein, some carbs and vegies or salad. Although I have never been happier to eat steak, salmon and chicken all the time, meal time has been getting a little boring.

I needed to find a seafood recipe of some sort with a twist, when I thought of making seafood chowder. I know most people have their own seafood chowder recipe but if you're like me and have NEVER made it before what do you do?

I also needed it to be reasonably healthy (can you even say healthy and chowder in the same sentence). I don't think you can.  So here is my recipe I just made up, it's pretty good, although I put too much chilly in my version, so I have halved it for you here. If you like it hot and have a cold, double the chilli quantity.

Ingredients

500 grams of marinara mix (I got mine for coles for $5! Cheapest seafood I've ever bought)
1 brown onion
4 cloves garlic
1 large long red chilli
zest of one lemon
50g butter
2 tbsp white flour
1/2 cup white wine
2 cups of low fat milk
3 cups of low sodium chicken stock
5 stalks of celery
A handful of parsley finely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

1. Add butter to a large pot, and brown the onions for a minute, add the garlic, chilli and lemon zest and fry for a further 3 min.

2. Add the flour and cook for about 4 mins. You may need to scrape up the bits off the bottom so that it won't burn.

3. Add the wine, it will pretty much evaporate but you will be left with that great wine smell.

4. Slowly add the milk until it creates a thick sauce like consistentcy. Now because I want to make it healthier, I've substituted all the rest of the milk or cream with stock. keep adding to you get the consistency that you like. I needed it to be thinner to reduce the calorie content per portion size.

5. Season with salt and pepper to taste and add celery. I wanted my celery crunchy so I left it in the soup for only 5 mins before adding the seafood.

6. I cut my marinara mix into smaller portions and then added to soup and cooked for 2 - 3 min max.

7. Chuck a couple of really nice buns in the oven and then serve. Delish. If you are not being so health conscious like me, smother your hot bread with butter. If you are get your butt on the treadmill for 30mins so you can add butter to your bread too!