The nights have grown cold and dark. Soup season, a time when we bathe ourselves in broths and stews and chowders and tea until the frost burns away. We visited Acadian country last summer and enjoyed many delicious seafood chowders. Simon Thibault has authored a cookbook that is testament to the food of the Acadians, Pantry and Palate.
This book has beautiful photography and hearty recipes that will help readers pack on the lard to protect against the chill. I made this seafood chowder recipe because it resembled the meal we had on Prince Edward Island at a local “dinner club.” Fair warning, this is enough soup to last two weeks between two people. Thibault says this is a family recipe used for celebrations and reunions. In his hometown of 300 people, Church Point, the ocean is in view from his porch. There are haddock hanging from clotheslines in the neighbor’s yards. The scallops and lobsters are brought in by fisherman to their doorstep. This is what I imagined life would be like as we walked around Acadia National Park last July.
Seafood Chowder A Mame
Excerpted from Pantry and Palate by Simon Thibault © 2017, Text by Simon Thibault.
½ pound butter, divided
1 large onion, minced
2 pounds potatoes, diced into ¼ inch cubes
One pound haddock, shredded into pieces
One pound scallops
One pound lobster meat, shredded
½ pound crab meat
1 ½ tsp old bay seasoning
½ tsp paprika
2 bay leaves
¼ tsp salted onions
500 mL heavy cream
2 TB chives, chopped
Melt ¼ cup butter in saucepan and saute onion.
In a large pot, cover potatoes with water and boil until 2/3rds done, till you can pierce with a fork but not all the way through.
In another skillet, warm up the remaining butter and lobster. Add paprika, seasoning and then the cream.
Bring the potatoes down to a simmer, add the haddock, then add the lobster and cream. Add the scallops, crab meat, and salted onions. Add the bay leaves, keep the temperature low, just to keep warm. Serve with chives.
This is the new Acadian chowder, a la New Orleans.
Red Bean Chowder
Adapted from the Essential Everyday Red Beans package
1/2 lb bacon, cooked and shredded
2 cups chopped onion
1/2 cup diced red bell peppers
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1/2 (16 ounce) package small red beans, cooked
4 cups chicken broth
2 (14.5 ounce) cans diced tomatoes , undrained
1 cup corn, frozen is fine
1 cup half and half
1/4 cup sliced green onions
In large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, sauté bacon until crisp; drain on paper towels.
Add onions, peppers, garlic and thyme to bacon drippings; salt and pepper to taste. Sauté until onions are softened (about 3-5 minutes).
Stir in cooked beans, broth, and tomatoes. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer 20-25 minutes.
Stir in corn and half & half; continue simmering 5 minutes. Garnish with green onions and bacon.
With your extra beans, decorate a costume and join us this year for Lundi Gras Dead Beans Red Beans parade.