Go tropical for your next chowder, and add coconut milk, lemongrass, ginger, and lime zest to your Idaho® potatoes! Sun glasses and beach towel optional.
- 2 13.66-ounce cans lite coconut milk
- 2 cups 2% milk
- 3 tablespoons minced ginger
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- zest from 2 limes
- 1 cube vegetable bouillon cube
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 teaspoons minced lemongrass
- 2/3 cup finely chopped sweet onion
- 2/3 cup finely chopped celery
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 4 cups peeled and diced Idaho® russet potatoes (3 large Idaho® potatoes)
- ½ cup vegetable broth
- 2 tins chopped clams with clam juice (there should be a total of ½ cup clam juice)
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- salt, if needed
- 6 macadamia nuts, crushed, for garnish
- 1 tablespoon chopped Italian parsley for garnish
- Stir together the milks, ginger, garlic, lime zest, and bouillon cube in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. A Le Creuset pot is perfect for this! Bring the liquid to a gentle simmer, and continue to cook for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and put a lid on the pot to keep the chowder broth warm.
- Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Once the butter is bubbling, add the lemongrass, sweet onion, and celery. Sauté the vegetables until softened, about 10 minutes.
- Sprinkle the flour over the softened lemongrass, onion, and celery, and vigorously whisk it all together to completely coat the vegetables. Cook for 5 – 7 minutes, frequently tossing around the skillet, or until it all begins to lightly brown. Add the diced potatoes, and gradually whisk in the vegetable broth, a little at a time.
- Stir in the clams and clam juice, bring to a simmer, and cook for 10 minutes, or until the liquid thickens into a sauce-like consistency.
- Pour everything into the large pot holding the warm coconut milk broth, add the black pepper, and continue to simmer for 5 minutes to meld together the flavors. Correct for salt if needed. (The vegetable bouillon cube typically provides all the salt needed.)
- Ladle into chowder bowls. Crush the macadamia nuts using the flat side of a chef’s knife and sprinkle over each bowl along with a pinch of parsley.
Prep Tip: Smash the lemongrass stalk with the flat side of a knife, and thrash it against a work surface to split and open it up before mincing.
Vegetarian Tip: To make this chowder vegetarian, eliminate the clams and clam juice, add an additional ½ cup of vegetable broth, and another russet potato.