Hello Everyone! I’ll keep tonight’s introduction short as I haven’t got much to say really. This Cayenne Shrimp & Corn Chowder is the perfect comfort food for the wintry days, or even just those cold, rainy nights. It’s easy, hearty, spicy, sweet, slightly creamy, incredibly smoky, and packed with tons of flavour!
Shrimp is a popular choice for any meal of the day. Be sure and get the right sized shrimp for your recipe Medium-size shrimp are best for soups, for example, because they are easier to eat with a spoon. The best part of this dish though is that you can control the heat levels by adding more or less cayenne and/or paprika, to taste. If you ask me though, I’d say the more the better because that smokiness is the true star in this chowder!
As I was cooking, I realised that the dish was turning out to be more on the orange side rather than yellow. Oops! Nevertheless, before we dive into tonight’s recipe, please take the time to check out the original where I drew my inspiration from over on Gimmie Some Oven by Ali.
PREP TIME 20 MINS | COOKING TIME 1 HOUR 25 MINS | SERVES 3-4
- 500g shrimp, heads removed, peeled, and deveined
For the prawn head soup base
- Shrimp heads and peels
- 1.5L water
- 5 garlic cloves, whole
- 3 celery stalks, roughly chopped
- 3 dried bay leaves
- 2 small red onion, quartered
- 1/2 tbsp salt
- 1/2 tbsp whole black peppercorns
For the chowder
- Shrimp meat
- 400ml coconut milk
- 1 bag (200g) frozen corn*, thawed
- 3 celery stalks, sliced
- 3 large potatoes, peeled and cut into medium-sized cubes
- 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 small red onion, diced
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp cayenne pepper powder
- 2 tsp smoked paprika powder
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
- Chopped spring onions, to garnish
* Alternatively, you can also use fresh corn or canned corn for this recipe; whichever is readily available for you.
- Prawn Head Soup Base: Add all the ingredients to a large heavy-bottomed pot. Bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, turn the heat down to a slow simmer. Make sure to press down on the heads and peels as it simmers away to extract as much flavour as you can. Leave it to simmer for about 30 to 45 minutes.
- Once done, strain the soup base into a large mixing bowl and set aside.
- Chowder: In the same heavy-bottomed pot, heat olive oil over medium-high. Add the minced garlic and sauté until golden brown and fragrant, about 30 seconds. Be careful to not burn the garlic. Then add in the diced onions, cooking until they soften, about 1-2 minutes.
- Add the sliced celery and potatoes to the pot, together with the spices, herbs and season with ground black pepper. Stir and cook for about a minute before adding in the prawn head soup base to the mixture. Bring to a rapid boil.
- Once boiling, turn the heat down to low so that the soup reduces to a slow simmer. Simmer away for 10 to 15 minutes, covered. Slowly add in half of the coconut milk and bring back to a slow simmer. Check and stir occasionally to avoid curdles from forming, cooking for a further 5 to 10 minutes. Taste to check if the chowder needs more seasoning or not.
- Add in the prawns and thawed sweet corn. If you’re using fresh corn, add them a little earlier to ensure that they are cooked all the way through. Cook for about 5 minutes and then add in the remaining coconut milk. Turn the heat up to medium-high and bring the chowder up to a rapid boil and cook for a further 5 minutes.
- Turn the heat off and equally divide the chowder into individual serving bowls. Top with some freshly chopped green onions and serve immediately while hot. Best with a crusty baguette on the side. Enjoy!
– Ally xx