We've been lucky to have summer weather so early in the year. It looked like we bypassed spring all together for a few days. But alas, the weather in Ottawa likes to change up week to week. We'd get gorgeous 27°C (that's 81°F for our American friends) sunny weather one week and then a few days of gloomy skies and temperatures hovering around 0°C the following week.
When the cold weather blankets the city, a great way to wait it out is a bowl (or two) of seafood chowder is perfect comfort food to keep the soul warm.
Frozen shrimp, scallops and basa fish fillets were taken out of the freezer and cut up into bite sized pieces. Onions and leftover ham was diced up too.
Over medium-high heat, the onions and herbs (we used thyme, bay leaves, and oregano) were heated up in a pot with some vegetable oil and butter. A few sprinkles of flour made a loose roux. Once the roux cooked out to a blonde colour, cream and milk were added to the pot.
The contents were seasoned with salt and black pepper and slowly thickened on gentle simmer. There were also cubes of potatoes that we threw in to cook. We had some croissants-in-a-can in the fridge. Since our family loves to eat cheese, we added some cheddar to some of the croissants before they went into the oven.
Just before we were ready to eat, the defrosted seafood was added into the pot to cook and imbue the chowder with a soft seafood perfume and flavour. When we all tucked into our bowls, the only sounds from the kitchen were the spoons clinking against the bowls, eager slurps of the chowder, and crisps sounds coming from taking bites from the baked croissants. Most of the seafood was cooked just right. I found the scallops over cooked but other than that, the fish and shrimp were tender and juicy. The chowder was so good that everyone mopped their bowls with the croissant.