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Recipe: Irish Scallop Chowder

Savor a taste of Ireland

Fisherman on boat with nets in harbour at Glencolumbcille, County Donegal.

Ireland has the freshest of delicious seafood, pulled straight out of the wild Atlantic. It’s often served in restaurants only miles (or yards) from the port, alongside fresh, local, seasonal produce. Scallops are among the delicacies fished around the Irish coast, usually in winter and spring. With their dense flesh and delicately flavored corals, they are particularly good in creamy chowders, either on their own or mixed with other seafood.

Try this recipe at home and savor a taste of Ireland.

Serves 6

3 1/2 tablespoons lightly salted butter
9 ounces large scallops, quartered
4 bacon strips, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, diced
2 carrots, diced
3 starchy potatoes
2 fresh thyme sprigs
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 cups whole milk, scalded
9 ounces mixed cooked seafood, such as shrimp and mussels
squeeze of lemon juice salt and pepper

1. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. When it sizzles, add the scallops and cook, in batches, for 5 minutes, until lightly colored. Remove from the pan and set aside.

2. Add the bacon to the pan and cook for 3–4 minutes, until it starts to color.

3. Add the onion, celery, carrots, and potatoes. Season with salt and pepper, then cover and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables start to soften.

4. Add the thyme and 2 tablespoons of the parsley to the pan of vegetables. Pour in the stock, cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes, until the vegetables are soft.

5. Remove and discard the thyme sprigs. Lightly crush some of the vegetables with a masher or the back of a wooden spoon to thicken the liquid. Pour in the scalded milk.

6. Add the scallops and mixed seafood to the pan. Cook until heated through but without letting the mixture boil. Be careful to avoid overcooking them, otherwise the flesh will become rubbery.

7. Check the seasoning and add a squeeze of lemon juice. Ladle into warm bowls and serve sprinkled with the remaining parsley.

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