SHRIMP-AND-SAUSAGE CORN CHOWDER
Note: This tastes particularly good if made a day in advance. From "The Busy Mom's Cookbook," by Antonia Lofaso.
1/4 c. olive oil
1 lb. ground sweet Italian sausage, without the casing
1 small green bell pepper, cored, seeded and diced
1 small red bell pepper, cored, seed and diced
1 small yellow onion, diced
2 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
2/3 c. flour
1 c. whole milk
4 c. chicken stock
2 c. canned, frozen or fresh corn
1 lb. (16/20 count) shrimp, peeled and devined, fresh or frozen, chopped in thirds or halves
2 tsp. chopped fresh chives
In a 4-quart saucepan, heat the oil on high. Add the sausage and break it up in the pan. Cook the sausage, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, until it's browned and crispy.
Toss in the bell peppers and onion. Season with the salt and reduce the heat to medium. Sweat the veggies for 3 to 4 minutes, just until they soften. You want to retain the color and not brown them.
Add the butter to the pan. After the butter is melted, stir in the flour. There should be enough liquid in the pan for the flour to be completely incorporated. Continue stirring for about 1 minute.
Pour in the milk and chicken stock, stir well, and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and allow the chowder to thicken for about 4 minutes. Add the corn and taste to see if the chowder is well seasoned. If you find it lacks flavor, you may need to add more salt.
Let chowder simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Reduce heat to low and add the shrimp. Simmer for 2 minutes (a little longer if the shrimp is frozen), until the shrimp turns pink and curls into itself. You don't want to overcook it.
Remove chowder from heat and let it stand 2 minutes. Stir in the chives and serve.