Spicy Oyster Chowder Perfect to Serve up for Valentine’s – A Soup Recreation

Spicy Oyster Chowder

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The completed Spicy Oyster Chowder garnished with chives.

Happy Valentine’s day! If you are looking for ideas on what to cook for your loved one tonight, why not serve up some Spicy Oyster Chowder?

Did you know that oysters are an excellent source of zinc, a nutrient known for its contribution to sexual development, hence the reputation as an aphrodisiac? Well, if you didn’t, you know now. Oysters are also rich in iron, copper and other minerals, which contribute to good health.

I have been on a hunt for a good Oyster Chowder recipe and decided to modify another recipe last night. This recipe is a recreation from a Clam Chowder I made at a cooking class a few months ago.

The Verdict of Spicy Oyster Chowder? Yup – this is a keeper recipe for sure. This is one soup I am very proud of. With the modifications, this chowder base can be very versatile and used with other variations of fish (I.E. salmon, clams, shrimp or any white fish). The superstar ingredient is the Thai Red Chile (don’t underestimate this little chile – one alone can really heat up your whole pot of chowder). I also decided to use a goat yogurt (10% Greek style) instead of a cows milk/cream since I am a little sensitive to casein which is found in cows milk and not in goats milk. Along with the heat from the red chile, the tangy goat yogurt with the lemon and thyme, the chowder has an addicting freshness and good balance of acidity!

For a special treat, I used more white wine as the base.

Spicy Oyster Chowder Ingredients:

  • 100 grams double smoked bacon, cut into ½ inch dice
  • 2 large shallots, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 carrots (approx 1 cup), diced small
  • 2 celery (approx 1 cup), diced small
  • 1 red thai chile, finely chopped
  • 1 red pepper (approx 3/4 cup), diced small
  • 4 medium red potatoes (approx 2.5 – 3 cups), diced small
  • reserved oyster juice from oysters
  • 2 cups white wine
  • 1 large tomato, diced small
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup goat yogurt (I used 10% Greek style)
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped
  • 2 small tubs fresh oysters, drained, washed, chopped midsized. (Sieve the oyster liquid and keep to use)
  • 3 teaspoon chives, finely sliced
  • dash of salt and pepper

Spicy Oyster Chowder Instructions:

  1. In a large pan, sauté bacon over medium heat until brown and crisp, approximately 3-5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to plate and allow to rest.
  2. Add in shallot, garlic, carrot, celery, red thai chile, red pepper and potatoes. Sauté for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add in oyster juice, wine, tomato and water, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 – 15 minutes.
  4. Add the goat yogurt, lemon juice, thyme and bacon to pan. Heat through until potatoes are soft, but do not boil at this point.
  5. Add in chopped oysters and cook until oysters are slightly firm (edges curl a little) , approx 2 -4 minutes.
  6. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  7. Ladle the chowder into bowls and garnish with chives.

Original recipe here: Julienning and Dicing For The Perfect Soup

What I changed from the original recipe:

  • replaced clams and nectar with oysters and juice of oysters
  • added red thai chile, celery, red pepper, tomato
  • replaced whipping cream with goat yogurt
  • omitted cornstarch and corn
  • used more veggies, thyme, wine and garlic

Soup Mistress Rating for Spicy Oyster Chowder:

Healthy (+ slimming + low sodium): (4/5)
Presentation: (4.5/5) 
Taste: (5/5) 

 

Kill Dill – An Oyster Chowder Review at The Stock Market

Oyster Chowder Stock Market

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Oyster chowder with dill served up from The Stock Market at Granville Island.

Over a week ago, I went grocery shopping at Granville Island and decided to check out the daily soups at the Stock Market. I have been visiting the Stock Market from time to time for over two decades – they do make some mighty fine soups, sauces and stocks. I had the liberty to meet the founders (a husband and wife team: Joanne and Georges) back in the day when I was a sales rep for Unisource (they were a client of mine in the late 90’s). Very nice and passionate folks indeed.

So what caught my attention at The Stock Market that day? I first noticed the Oyster Chowder in their packaged soup area and it looked yummy to me. It was chilly outside that day and I was wanting something to warm me up right then and there. I peeked over to the sandwich board and noticed that they were also serving up a big pot of Oyster Chowder as well. Something was odd though, because I noticed that the chowder being served up was not the same ingredients as the packaged Oyster Chowder.

The packaged Oyster Chowder had: oyster broth, potatoes, fresh oysters, fresh spinach, onions, leeks, carrots, fresh tomatoes, celery, fresh garlic, thyme, bay leaves, sea salt, canola oil, saffron, black pepper.

The one on the board read: “Fresh Oyster chowder with dill, tomatoes, onion and black peppercorn”.

Hmmn, they are different? Oh, well, I decided to give it a try.

The Verdict of Oyster Chowder: The chowder that was being served up was just o.k. – it was not great though. There was a bit of disconnect with the ingredients – they didn’t play well together for myself. The lightness of the broth and healthy vegetables with dill, made me feel as though chicken should have been in the chowder instead of oysters. I wondered if an employee that day had intentions of making the oyster chowder but accidentally added dill as the herb and just ran with it.

  • Kill Dill: I think the dill murdered the chowder and does not go well. Alternatively when I look at their packaged oyster chowder ingredients, it had thyme instead. Now that makes more sense than dill!
  • Turn Up The Heat: I think the chowder also needs some sort of warm spice (possibly cayenne or red thai chile?) and some cream.

I decided that I will be on a hunt for Oyster Chowder recipes tonight and find one that I can make sometime soon. I am really blessed to be in Beautiful British Columbia because we have so many options to buy fresh oysters (live in shell or fresh in tubs). It’s time to get cooking with them in soups!

Soup Mistress Rating for Oyster Chowder Soup With Dill at The Stock Market:

Healthy (+ slimming + low sodium): (4.5/5)
Presentation: (3.5/5) 
Taste: (2.5/5)