08 July 2011

Recipe: Conch Chowder

Olivia's Cafe at Old Key West Resort
Olivia's at Old Key West Resort is home to the tasty dish that will sweep you away to your favorite beach. The conch is often used in cuisine from the islands. It's used raw on salads and cooked in fritter, gumbos and as in this recipe, chowders.
1 pound fresh or thawed frozen conch meat

4 slices bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 medium onion, diced into 1/2-inch
2 large ribs celery, coarsely diced
1/2 cup coarsely diced green bell pepper
1/2 cup coarsely diced red bell pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup dry sherry
4 cups water
3 cups clam broth
28-ounce can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup tomato puree
1 large potato, peeled and diced into 1/2-inch pieces (about 2 1/4 cups)
  1. Coarsely chop conch in food processor. 
  2. In 4- to 5-quart Dutch oven, cook bacon on medium heat, stirring, 5-6 minutes, or until browned. With slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towels to drain. 
  3. Add onion, celery, green bell pepper, red bell pepper and garlic; cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Add sherry and cook for 1 minute. 
  4. Stir in the conch meat, water, clam broth, canned tomatoes and tomato puree; simmer, stirring occasionally, 30 minutes. 
  5. Add the potatoes and the bacon; cook, stirring occasionally, 20 minutes.
Note: If fresh conch isn't available, frozen conch — available at many fish markets — works fine.

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