Maine Shrimp Chowder

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I learned to cook chowder from my mother, and don’t have a recipe I follow.  I just vary it to suit what I have — i.e. less fish, more potatoes.  I LOATHE thick pasty chowder thickened with flour or cornstarch, so mine depends on starchy potatoes and cream for body, but should be milky and dotted with butter and specks of black pepper.

Shrimp Chowder

Big knob of butter
2 medium onions
1 t dried thyme
Water
4+ starchy potatoes, diced (I used Yukon Golds from my garden)
1 lb haddock
1-2 pounds of cleaned Maine shrimp
½ cup heavy cream
1-1/2 cups milk

Melt butter over medium-low heat in heavy soup pot. Cook onions until softened but not browned.  Stir in the thyme.

Add the potatoes to the pot, and add just enough water to cover them. Cover and bring to a boil, and cook for about 10 minutes, until softened and the liquid looks starchy.  Reduce the heat and add plenty of salt and pepper with salt and pepper (you don’t want to have to have to stir much once the fish is added).

Gently set the fish on the potatoes and cook over low heat for 5 minutes.  Add the cream and milk enough to make a nice broth (remember to leave room for the shrimp!) and taste for salt and pepper.  Heat until scalding, then add the cleaned shrimp.  Allow to come again to scalding, stirring gently to disperse shrimp.

Serve , making sure to have leftovers as it will always taste better the next day.

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