For those of you that are allergic to shellfish, or whom have lovers or friends that can no longer enjoy them, I present an alternative. Sparo does, unfortunately, react to shrimp; and she likely reacts to other shellfish as well. Every now and then, you get a serious jones for clam chowder; and of course it’s out. However, squid are not shellfish.
They aren’t even vertebrates.
So, this should work out pretty well for you. You will need:
- a decent meal’s worth of calamari, breaded and fried
- freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
- sea salt (optional, to taste)
- preferred calamari seasonings
- about two cups of milk
- one pint cream
- several large russet potatoes, chopped
- corn (Sparo’s suggestion)
- three or four cloves of garlic
- chopped green onions
Make in a crock pot, on low for most of the day. If your calamari are not already fried, you may consider breading them with a measure of spices and doing this first. The squid should be chopped into bite-sized rings, but as it isn’t easy to find whole squid this has probably been done for you.
Add the calamari to the crock pot, along with the potatoes, milk, and if using it then corn. Add the cream, and stir with a wooden spoon, and start the crock pot on high. Dice the onions and crush the garlic under the flat of a blade, then chop it and add to the pot. Cook for at least six hours, until the potatoes and milk have blended into a decent chowder.
After the first few hours, I suggest tasting the soup with the wooden spoon, and then adding an appropriate measure of pepper and sea salt. For a soup like this, you are generally playing it by ear. Decent additional vegetables include chopped celery, or chopped black olives (conservatively). The soup can also benefit from a little parmesan cheese, if you have the taste for it. I generally don’t recommend adding lemon to it, or to any hot milk dish, as the acid tends to interact with the dairy in an unpleasant way. The dairy denatures—it’s complicated. It’s not that it isn’t possible to combine the two properly, it’s that it’s a task, and the flavor would not blend well with a chowder.
The differences between this and clam chowder are mild and pleasant. I’m sure you’ll agree.