When winter arrives, colder temperatures typically arrive as well. Staying warm on cold winter days can sometimes be challenging, but food can be just the thing to make you feel warm on a chilly day.
Chowder is a robust dish that can stick to the ribs while warming people up. Just about anything, including beer, can be added to chowder, making it a uniquely flavorful dish. Ideal for cold days, the following recipe for “Blackened Shrimp and Corn Chowder” from John Holl’s “The American Craft Beer Cookbook” (Storey) can be just what you need to warm up.
Ingredients: Serves eight to ten
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium Spanish onion, finely chopped
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
2 medium banana peppers, finely chopped
1⁄2 cup red or amber ale
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
11⁄2 cups fresh or frozen corn
4 cups fish broth
1 large sweet potato, baked and mashed
Fresh dill, finely chopped
Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion, celery and banana peppers, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the ale and salt and pepper to taste. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue cooking and stirring until the beer’s foam subsides and the liquid reduces by half, about 5 minutes. Rinse the shrimp under cold water and pat dry with a paper towel. Toss the shrimp, chili powder and paprika together in a bowl, coating thoroughly. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a cast iron skillet. Add the shrimp and cook, stirring once, until nicely seared, about 2 minutes. Immediately transfer the shrimp to the soup pot, and then stir in the corn and broth. Bring the mixture to a light boil over medium-high heat and add the mashed sweet potato. Reduce the heat to low, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes longer. Divide the soup among bowls and top with the fresh dill before serving.
La Crema ‘Sonoma’ Chardonnay
La Crema Winery — Sonma Coast, Calif.
This dish would call for a chardonnay. This one from La Crema Winery in California offers floral, lemon, green apple, subtle oak and spice aromas, with plum and honeydew melon flavors. It pairs well with both the chowder and shrimp.