Spicy Corn & Scallop Chowder

By • September 20, 2009 • 2 Comments


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Author Notes: Fresh, sweet corn, tender scallops, spicy roasted poblano chili…mm mm good. Corn chowder with seafood is light but still sufficient for a cool eary-fall evening. I am a big fan of chowders; as delicious as the thick and rich ones are, I prefer the classic chowder flavors with a less-dense body. It’s a healthier way to enjoy a favorite recipe.TheThinChef

Serves 2 with leftovers

  • 1 poblano pepper
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 4 thin slices pancetta, diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Coarse salt and ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika (optional)
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 3 cobs fresh corn, kernels removed and cobs reserved
  • 1 cup bottled clam juice
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 medium Yukon gold potato, diced
  • 1/2 pound bay scallops
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • Garnish: chopped fresh cilantro
  1. Roast the poblano: situate oven rack to highest position and preheat broiler. Lightly rub poblano with vegetable oil. Line a small baking sheet with foil, place pepper on prepared baking sheet, and place under broiler. Broil pepper until skin is beginning to char, about 5 minutes. Flip pepper, and broil about 5 minutes more, or until it is uniformly soft and skin is mostly brown and black. Remove pepper from oven, place in a paper bag (or in a bowl covered with plastic wrap). Set aside for 8-10 minutes, then remove stem from pepper, and peel away skin (it should come off easily). Cut pepper in half, remove seeds, and roughly chop.
  2. In a large stockpot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add pancetta, and cook until meat is crisp and fat has rendered. Remove pancetta with a slotted spoon, and set aside. Pour off all but about 1 tablespoon fat (or leave it alone if there’s about that much in the pan).
  3. Add onions, season with a big pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper, and stir. Cook until onion is beginning to soften; add garlic, and cook until very fragrant. Add smoked paprika, if using, and stir to combine. Add wine, and using a wooden spoon, scrape any bits from the bottom of the pot. Simmer for 1 minute.
  4. Add corn, corn cobs, roasted poblano, clam juice, stock, and potatoes, and simmer, covered, about 15 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. Remove cobs and discard, then add scallops.
  5. Add half-and-half, and simmer (do not boil) until scallops are fully cooked and chowder is lightly thickened. Top each bowl with reserved pancetta or bacon, and garnish with cilantro, if desired.

Tags: dinner for two, leftovers, seafood

Comments (2) Questions (0)

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over 1 year ago Melusine

The chowder is cooling on the stove as I'm typing this -- I had to go into another room to stop 'testing' it. I murmured various versions of "wow -- this is seriously good' with every test. Only two slight adjustments -- I had a bunch of frozen shrimp shells, so I simmered those for a bit instead of using clam juice, and the people I'm serving really like things spicy, so I very judiciously added bits of a Thai bird pepper over the course of an hour, so the heat didn't overwhelm the flavor. Good stuff!

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about 3 years ago jblakehawke

Hi ThinChef,

This looks great, I have two questions: You list whole milk as an ingredient, but mention half and half during prep. Also, when do you suggest adding the cornstarch?

Thanks