Today was a miserably cold and wet day, more appropriate for mid-April than late-May. So it seemed appropriate to make a warm chowder for dinner. I also wanted something "spanish" to honor the UEFA Champions League finals between Manchester United and Barcelona, since The Spouse and I were both rooting for Barça... as it turned out, we were celebrating a Spanish WIN! Yay!
Taken from this recipe, I used skim milk instead of 2%, reducing the amount to just 1 cup, and increased the salt and cumin to a full teaspoon. I also made some very quick goat-cheese crostini, which actually were phenomenal with the dish.
But the biggest impact was the teaspoon of saffron I added. If you ever want to turn a dish from hum-drum to exquisite, add saffron.
"Spanish" Shrimp and Corn Chowder
2 tbsp butter
1 cup chopped green onions
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 finely chopped serrano chile
1 can chopped green chiles, undrained
3 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 cup skim milk
1 1/2 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 cups frozen Southern-style hash brown potatoes, diced, thawed
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp saffron
1 can whole-kernel corn
1 lb peeled and deveined small shrimp
2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
Melt butter in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onions, bell pepper, and serrano chile to pan and sauté 2 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently.
Add canned chiles to pan and cook 1 minute. Add flour to pan and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in milk and next 6 ingredients (through corn) and bring to a boil. Cook 5 minutes or until slightly thick.
Stir in shrimp. Cook 1 minute or until shrimp are done. Cover and simmer another 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cilantro. Ladle into bowls, top with crostini and serve.
Wine Pairing: A nice, fruity pinot grigio balances the heat of the chiles and the sweetness of the corn.
p.s. I realize that just adding saffron doesn't make this dish "spanish" but it had totally slipped my mind that the finals were tonight. ::sigh::