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Conch Chowder Recipe

Florida keys conch chowderEditor’s Note: RFT’s Ski & Dive Editor, Yvette Cardozo, fell in love with Conch (pronounced “conk”) Chowder when she lived in Florida. Yvette writes:

Delicious conch chowder is a signature Florida Keys dish. It’s served with conch, a tropical marine mollusk with a spiral shell and flared lip, and potatoes, vegetables and more.

Recipe courtesy Recipes and Tall Tales from Legendary Restaurants of the Florida Keys by Robert Stoky.

Feeds 8-10

 

½ lb bacon cut in ½ inch slices

2 onions diced

2 lbs conch, ground (can substitute any whitefish, shrimp, clams)

1 green pepper diced

2 stalks celery, chopped

6 large potatoes, diced

1 6 oz can tomato paste

1 15 oz can diced tomatoes

4 bay leaves

1 Tbs oregano

3 Tbs thyme

1 Tbs allspice (optional)

3 carrots, diced

1 tsp cayenne pepper (more if you like it spicy)

Salt and pepper to taste

Pale dry sherry to taste

 

Place bacon and onions in 4 quart pot and saute until onions are soft. Add ground conch, green peppers, celery and continue to saute for 4-5 minutes, stirring to prevent burning. Add the rest of the ingredients, stir and reduce heat to simmer. Add water or clam juice throughout the cooking process as necessary to keep the cowder thick but not too thick. Simmer for 1-2 hours, stirring occasionally until potatoes are soft. Sherry is added as a splash after chowder is served. Serve with hot sauce on the side.



Yvette Cardozo, RFT Ski & Dive Editor

Yvette Cardozo from the Seattle, Washington area, likes to visit interesting places and learn about interesting cultures and, if a tasty local dish is involved, so much the better. She’s eaten everything from gourmet food at the world’s finest restaurants to native food in Asia, the arctic, and all kinds of places in between.Yvette recalls being in Antarctica and going out on the land with Inuit elders in arctic Canada , then bagging a caribou. They dragged it back to camp and ate it on the spot raw. She quips, “Hey, if you like steak tartare….”Yvette, who is a veteran skier and diver, is RFT’s Ski & Dive Editor.