Fish chowders are enjoyed throughout all of Latin America and vary from country to country. This soulful, hearty Striped Bass and Shrimp Chowder is popular in Ecuador.
- 1 lb. medium shrimp with shells on
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 4 cups water
- 2 tablespoons annatto oil *
- 1 cup finely chopped onion (about 1 medium)
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 red hot chili pepper, seeded, finely chopped or 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro or parsley, divided
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano leaves or 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 lbs. (4 medium) potatoes, peeled, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 lb. striped sea bass fillets, cut into 12 pieces or any firm, white-fleshed fish such as ocean perch, haddock, red snapper, halibut, catfish, talapia, cut into 12 pieces
- Salt and ground black pepper to taste
- 1/8 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 2 ears corn, husks and silk removed, cut into 3 pieces each
- 1 can (12 fl. oz.) NESTLÉ® CARNATION® Evaporated Milk
- 1 1/2 cups (6 oz.) shredded Muenster, Chihuahua or Mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
- 3 large hard boiled eggs, sliced
- 1 lime, cut into 6 wedges
SHELL and devein shrimp, reserving shells. Melt butter in large saucepan. Add the shrimp shells; cook, stirring until they turn pink. Add water, bring to a boil. Cover; simmer 5 minutes. Strain into large bowl; discard shells. Add more water, if necessary, to make 4 cups stock.
HEAT annatto oil in same large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, pepper, 2 tablespoons cilantro, oregano and thyme; cook, stirring occasionally for about 3 minutes or until onion is tender. Add potatoes and shrimp stock. Cover saucepan; simmer about 30 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
MEANWHILE, rinse fish, pat dry with paper towels. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Place flour on plate. Pass fish through flour to coat on both sides. Heat vegetable oil in large skillet. Cook fish slices until lightly browned on both sides (about 3 minutes per side).
ADD corn to soup; simmer for 5 additional minutes. Add milk and cheese. Stir until cheese is melted. Season with salt and black pepper. (Soup should be the consistency of heavy cream. Add more milk or water, if too thick.)
FOLD in shrimp and fish. Cover; cook over low heat for about 3 minutes or until shrimp turn pink and begin to curl.
TO SERVE: Ladle soup into 6 bowls with 2 slices of fish, several shrimp and potatoes and 1 corn piece per serving. Top with remaining cilantro and slices of hard boiled eggs. Squeeze 1 lime wedge into soup, if desired.
* NOTE: You can make annatto oil by heating 2 tablespoons annatto (achiote) seeds in 1/2 cup olive or vegetable oil over low heat for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until oil turns bright orange. Store in small jar or container. Or, you can substitute 2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil combined with 1 teaspoon ground annatto or sweet paprika for the 2 tablespoons annatto oil.
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striped bass & shrimp chowder
What a great soup! This is especially good with the fresh fish during the summer months. Easy to make. Great with warm fresh bread. Make some today!