It’s been cold & rainy for a week and mama needed some chowda. So I made some!

Thanks to RealSimple magazine (which we lovingly refer to as “RealSquare”), I finally came across a recipe for Sweet Corn & Shrimp Chowder – one of my favorite chowders! Yay! I modified it just a bit, on account of RealSimple’s ingratiating habit of under-seasoning, and it turned out super delicious! And relatively inexpensive to boot!

First, I started out with some good hearty ingredients:

1 lb of potatoes (I like red potatoes, but it’s all about preference!)

About 1 lb of de-veined shrimp, tails on

A bit o’ unsalted butter

A bit o’ flour

A nice juicy lemon

1 fennel bulb

A couple of leeks

3 cups of milk (recipe called for whole milk, but it was just lovely with 2%)

And 1 bottle of clam juice

After I had everything gathered and washed and ready to go, I quickly fried up some bacon to crumble as a topping and then set it aside, saving the drippings (yum!)…

While the bacon was cooking, I chopped up the leeks and fennel…

The potatoes…

And squeezed the juice out of that lemon like there was no tomorrow.

Next, I sautéed the leeks and fennel in the butter and the reserved bacon drippings, along with some spices. Stupid RealSquare suggests “a 1/2 tsp of salt and a dash of pepper” as the only seasoning, but good god! That’s just not gonna do it for me. I went easy on the salt, but was super generous with cracked black pepper, old bay (which I practically put in anything), garlic and parsley. If I’d had some, white wine Worcestershire sauce would have also been great! Spencer commented that he could taste the love, which definitely would not be the case if I’d stuck with RealSquare’s stingy spicing.

Leeks & Fennel sautéeing…

Once the veggies start to soften, throw in the flour and stir it up good. Then add the milk, clam juice and potatoes. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes. Add the sweet corn. Add the shrimp. Stir it all up and for goodness’ sake, taste test and adjust the seasoning!

I continued cooking, on medium heat, stirring occasionally for about 10 more minutes, just to make sure that the corn and shrimp were completely heated through. And finally, it was ready!

Wanna see the finished product?

Mmm, chowda…

Recipe adapted from RealSimple