The original version of this creamy scallop chowder called for 6 cups of heavy cream, said Kathy Kitchens Downie, R.D., in Cooking Light. The result was a velvety, assertive, broth, but one with too many calories,
too much saturated fat, and way too much cholesterol. Our challenge
was to create a lighter, more healthful version that preserved “the soup’s rich, filling qualities.” This recipe calls for clam juice, though fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth can be substituted. If Pernod is not available, or you prefer to omit alcohol altogether, substitute 1 teaspoon anise extract or finely ground aniseed. Rosé wine makes an ideal pairing. Serve with crackers.
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Recipe of the week
2 tsp butter
1-1/2 cups chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped celery
1 tsp minced garlic
1/4 cup all-purpose flour (about 1 oz)
4-1/2 cups (1/2-inch) cubed, peeled Yukon gold or red potato (about 1-1/2 lbs)
1-1/4 tsp kosher salt, divided
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper, divided
2-1/2 cups clam juice
2-1/2 cups 2-percent reduced-fat milk
1 tbsp Pernod
1-1/2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
1-1/2 lbs sea scallops, cut into 1-inch chunks
1-1/2 cups half-and-half
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
Melt 2 tsp butter in a Dutch oven coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add chopped onion and celery; sauté for 5 minutes or until tender. Add 1 tsp garlic, and sauté for 1 minute. Add potato, 1 tsp salt, and 3/4 tsp pepper; cook for 2 minutes. Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Sprinkle flour over potato mixture and cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently. Add clam juice and milk; bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until potato is tender. Partially mash potato using a potato masher. Stir in remaining 1/4 tsp salt, remaining 1/4 tsp pepper, Pernod, and thyme; simmer 10 minutes. Add scallops and half-and-half; cook 5 minutes or until scallops are done. Sprinkle with chives. Serves 8.
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