Seafood Chowder – the easy way

I recently wrote about the wonderful Seafood Chowder that we made from a Coop’s Place receipe using Whole Foods market ingredients. While I can’t share that recipe, I can share my own. It is the kind that doesn’t take much time, and it is really good for a quick, hearty dinner after a long day at work.

Of course you can substitute fresh ingredients for all the canned and frozen stuff, which I do on the weekends, when I have time to shop at my local seafood and farmers markets.

My Seafood Chowder

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 medium onion, chopped

2 stalks celery, chopped

2 cans diced potatoes – do not drain

1 can corn – do not drain (optional – I don’t use corn, but some of my friends do)

2 8-ounce bottles clam juice (or vegetable broth)

2 bay leaves

salt & pepper to taste

2 cans clams, do not drain

1 can lump or claw crab meat, do not drain

1/2 pound large frozen shrimp, thawed & tails removed

1/2 pound frozen tilapia fillets, thawed, cut into 1-inch strips

1 can whole oysters, undrained (optional)

1 cup fat-free half & half

Saute the onion and celery in olive oil until they are translucent – when they look a little shiny. Add in potatoes and corn, if desired. As the veggies heat up, add in the clam juice, bay leaf, salt & pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer about 10 minutes.

Add in each of the remaining ingredients in the order listed; bringing chowder to a boil each time before adding the next ingredient. Once you add the half & half, reduce heat again and let simmer another five minutes before serving.

Serve with a salad of fresh greens and crusty sourdough bread.

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