I've seen a lot of seafood chowders on Food Network lately, so I thought I would give it a shot. I've only made clam chowder once, and I make lobster bisque once a year. Had some fish & shrimp in the freezer, along with a can of clams in the pantry. My attempt at serving a gluten-free meal to our houseguest failed yesterday (sorry, Paula...who knew soy sauce wasn't gluten-free? I mean, isn't it soy? Guess they should rename it soy/wheat sauce).
I wanted to make up for that mistake by making my seafood chowder gluten-free.
I start by using all those raw shrimp shells & tails I've saved and frozen over the past several months to make a basic shrimp stock. Cover with water and simmer for 45 minutes or so.
I peeled and diced up 3 potatoes.
My dad always put bacon in his clam chowder when he made it (and bacon is pretty awesome!), so I'll dice up a package and cook it. I'll also use some for our baked potatoes tomorrow night. Jo got mad because I bought this bacon during an apparent "meat buying ban", but it was peppered bacon for $1.99 a pound. I bought 3 packages!
Diced up and into the pan to brown.
Had about 1/2 pound of raw shrimp in the freezer, along with a couple Swai fish fillets. We love the taste of Swai and it's very inexpensive at Aldi.
I strained the shrimp stock and have about 4 cups of stock.
I did a quick boil on the diced potatoes to soften them up just a bit.
Bacon is all crispy.
Now for the roux to thicken the chowder up. I use a little of the peppered bacon grease and about 3 Tablespoons of butter.
To make it gluten-free, I'm using rice flour to make the roux.
Looks pretty normal. This might work!
After cooking the roux for a few minutes, I start adding the shrimp stock and whisk.
Next up is a pint of half & half.
Then I added some milk. I keep whisking and adding milk until the consistency is very chowder-like!
A can of clams from the pantry.
Chopped clams & juice into the mix.
And the raw shrimp & fish.
The shrimp were a little big for soup, so I cut them in half.
Added the cooked bacon, too. It's all in there! Simmer, covered for an hour or so.
Add a little Old Bay seasoning and some salt & pepper til it tastes awesome.
Nice chunks of seafood in the chowder.
Tasted great! Had it for lunch, then had 3 containers for the freezer. Rice flour thickened it up just like regular flour. Gluten-free worked for the seafood chowder.
One casualty on the day...my favorite all-purpose plastic bowl. I've eaten bushels of popcorn out of this bowl over the years. It has been filled with my Chex mix every winter. I stupidly put it down on the stove on a burner that had just been turned off. Goodbye, old friend.