“ALMOST NOVA SCOTIA” SEAFOOD CHOWDER, BALTIMORE STYLE
by Patrick (Pat) McDougall of Baltimore, Maryland
Assorted favorite seafoods, possibly including:
– 3/4 to 1 pound boneless salmon steak
– 3/4 pound “ready to eat” pre-cooked shrimp
– 3/4 pound mussels (New Zealand green shell worked fine, but fresh local are probably better!)
– 1/2 pound “ready to eat” crab meat, preferably blue crab lump or claw meat
– Two good-sized white potatoes or similar type potato
– One bunch spring onions
– One cup dairy cream (liquid)
– One cup milk (lowfat works fine)
– Three tablespoons margarine or butter
– 1/4 cup vegetable/canola oil
– One tablespoon flour
– “Old Bay” seafood seasoning (integral if chowder is to become “Baltimore Style!”)
– Garlic salt
– Basil flake
– Celery salt
1. Place salmon steak in lightly greased baking pan, coat top of steak with one tablespoon of margarine/butter, and bake at 350 degrees (should take approximately 15 minutes); Peel shrimp and cut into small pieces, cook potatoes, and dice up “stem” part of spring onions.
2. Cut cooked potatoes into small pieces of about 1/2″ diameter, melt margarine/butter in small pan (medium to high heat), and separate mussels from shells.
3. Add diced spring onions to melted margarine/butter and sauté until lightly browned, in separate large pan heat vegetable/canola oil over low to medium-low heat and add mussels and coat with garlic salt once oil is heated (cook mussels for approximately 5-10 minutes, flipping occasionally).
4. Once spring onions are browned, add flour and cook for one additional minute. Once mussels are cooked, remove from pan and cut into small pieces.
5. Transfer spring onions and remnants of margarine/butter to medium-large pot, add potatoes to pot, add enough water to cover potatoes by about 1/2″, add shrimp, and place over burner on high heat until just before boiling point.
6. Reduce heat to low, add crab, salmon, mussels, cream, and milk. Add a few shakes of basil flakes and celery salt, then shake enough Old Bay (or other seafood seasoning that suits your taste) on to lightly coat the entire chowder liquid surface. Simmer for approximately 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Once in the bowl, season to taste, adding a little salt or more Old Bay if you like.I highly recommend having some sort of bread (and butter/margarine) with the chowder — Minnie MacMaster’s brown bread sounds good!
One final note- Old Bay is a widely-used seafood seasoning that any self-respecting Baltimorian MUST have on his/her steamed blue crabs (also known as “hard crabs”). There is NOTHING like it! Please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to arrange to get some but cannot find it; I’d be glad to help out!