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The Earthbound Cook
by Myra Goodman

Shrimp and sweet corn combine for a match made in heaven, and when simmered in a light stock made from the shrimp shells, the result is rich, flavorful, and satisfying. This elegant chowder makes a wonderful first course or a satisfying meal when served with hot crusty bread and a generous green salad.
Serves 4 to 6


• 12 ounces raw, unpeeled shrimp, preferably small (31 to 35 per pound)
• 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
• 3 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
• 1/4 cup dry sherry or Marsala
• 1 cup whole milk
• 3 cups Shrimp Stock or bottled clam juice
• 1 tablespoon tomato paste
• About 8 ounces red new potatoes, peeled or unpeeled, cut into 1/4-inch dice (1½ cups)
• 2 cups corn kernels, fresh or frozen (no need to thaw)
• 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
• Salt
• 3 tablespoons fresh parsley, for garnish


1. Peel and devein the shrimp, removing the tail pieces as well. Reserve the shells for making Shrimp Stock, if desired. If your shrimp are large, cut them in half or in smaller pieces. Cover and refrigerate.

2. Melt the butter in a stockpot over medium heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring continuously, for 2 minutes to cook off the raw flour taste. Add the sherry and milk and cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture is smooth and has thickened, about 4 minutes.

3. Stir in the Shrimp Stock and tomato paste, and cook over medium-high heat until the liquid begins to simmer. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 5 minutes to concentrate the flavors. Add the potatoes, cover the pot, and simmer until they are tender, 10 to 12 minutes.

4. Add the corn and the shrimp, and simmer until the shrimp are cooked through, about 4 minutes.

5. Season the chowder with the cayenne pepper and salt to taste. Garnish with the parsley and serve hot.

A shrimp is a shrimp is a prawn. Although they are actually two different species, they are very similar in appearance. In the United States, jumbo and colossal shrimp (15 or fewer per pound) are often marketed as prawns.


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