This is one of the first recipes I really made up out of thin air, and it’s got to be one of my best ever. Anyone who knows me will, I hope, tell you that it’s not like me to walk around demanding that people tell me how good they think my soup is, but I did that the first time I made this chowder. I even wrote it all down as soon as I was done eating it so that I wouldn’t forget what I’d done. Usually I forget to do that.
I’ve made it several times since from the recipe here at Knuckle Salad, and here’s the thing: IT’S SO EASY, so so so easy, and it’s delicious every single time. It’s like you can’t screw it up. It even gets requested! I love requests. Especially when they’re so so so easy. Like this.
Totally Shrimpin’ Corn Chowder
Serves 4, with leftovers
- 1/2 medium white onion, chopped up
- 2 big cloves of garlic, diced
- 1/4 green pepper, chopped small
- 1/2 jalapeno, diced
- olive oil
- 2 small cans creamed corn
- 2 cans Niblets
- About 16oz. low-sodium chicken broth, give or take
- About 8oz. heavy whipping cream, give or take (you can sub some or all of this out with milk if you’re concerned about the fat)
- 1 heaping teaspoonful (that’s the teaspoon you eat with, not the one you measure with) cornstarch
- black pepper
- bacon salt (if you can’t find this, more’s the pity, but kosher salt would be nice, too)
- thyme (two shakes)
- paprika (one shake)
- celery seed (half a shake)
- garlic powder
- 1/2 pound shrimp*
- Get a big pot. (Bigger than you think you need. I had to transfer mine into a larger pot halfway. Take heed.)
- Pour in a little bit of olive oil to saute the onion and garlic, turn it up to medium-high, and let that go for a little while with non-obsessive stirring, until the onions go translucent.
- Then add all four cans of corn and both kinds of chopped pepper. Stir that around like a stir fry for a minute, just to get it all nice and mixed and to get your bearings.
- Add the chicken broth and cream. You can use more or less than what the recipe calls for here. It’s not an exact science… keep adding until you feel you have enough liquid, and you like the color. The broth and cream are the soup part, so… I mean… you can’t really add too much soup to your soup.
- Now is a good time to season. All the seasonings go in, to taste. I was fairly conservative with my spices, because I love the flavors of corn, shrimp, and jalapenos, and I only wanted to bring them out. But you make it the way you like it.
- Once it’s all seasoned and tasty—and you won’t know if it is unless you taste it, so taste it!—then you get it boiling and throw your shrimp in. The shrimp will cook in the hot soup, and you’ll know they’re cooked because they’ll turn pink. Keep an eye on it. You’ll want to stir it occasionally to keep it from sticking, and to make sure that all the shrimp get a fair amount of time submerged.
- Wait until the shrimp are almost done to add the corn starch. First, dump your cornstarch in a cup, then put some tap water in and stir it up to dissolve (you don’t need to fill the cup with water, only enough to dissolve the starch). Once you have eradicated all the lumps, spoon some hot soup out of your pot into the cup and mix it up. A few spoonfuls should do. What you’re doing is giving the cornstarch mixture a chance to get used to the heat gradually. If you just dump it into the pot, you may get lumps. Cornstarch lumps are gross.
- Your soup should thicken almost immediately, and when it does, and the shrimps are done, eat up! You can garnish the top with a little bit of krab, or just some fresh chopped parsley, if you wanted to be fancy. Oh, and if you don’t want leftovers, make sure you have three friends to feed.
*I used large white shrimp, because they were on sale. Before you use them, you’ll need to make sure they’re peeled, deveined, and de-tailed, obviously, but you can also cut them in half if you want. The chowder’s easier to eat if you cut them up, but it’s prettier to look at if you leave them whole, so consider your circumstances and your priorities and do what you think is right.