Monday, December 8, 2008

Best. Oyster. Chowder. Ever.

With about thirty minutes prep time, you can make a hot, thick, hearty soup from ingredients you probably have on hand.
3-4 cups butter gold potatoes, cut into 3/4" cubes
1 onion, coarsely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced

Butter and Olive Oil to
caramelize the onion and garlic
1 pound fresh oysters, or two cans of oyster pieces

(Housewife Hint: When I see canned oysters on sale at the supermarket throughout the year, I grab them up in multiples of two. Besides, it is never a bad idea to have high-protein shelf staples on hand that need no refrigeration.)

Scrub and cube the potatoes, cover with cold water and put on a medium burner. Cook until just tender.

Caramelize the onion and garlic in a tablespoon of butter and two tablespoons of olive oil.

When the onions and garlic start to brown, toss in about a quarter to a third of a cup of flour to make a roux. Skim the just-tender potatoes out of their pot and toss with the roux.

Stir in enough chicken base to flavor about three cups of soup.

Add the oysters, including the juice they are packed in and keep stirring. Ladle in a cup or two of the water the potatoes were cooked in and keep stirring.

Slowly add about two cups of milk, stirring constantly. Season with white pepper and garlic salt, and add about a quarter cup of dried chives. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for about ten minutes.

Serve with grated cheese and oyster crackers.

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