Healthy Low-cal Does Not Mean Low-flavor Profile
Growing up I hated fish and seafood. Why? Because, I grew up in the Arizona desert, where my seafood experience was limited to skanky nasty fish from the grocery store, or those little breaded-deep-fried “fish sticks” we got in the school cafeteria. I always wondered, “What kind of fish grew in the shape of a rectangular block?” Eventually, I also learned that chicken does not grow in nuggets either.
Since my youth, the availability of fresh seafood is much better here in the Phoenix area. Nowadays, I thoroughly enjoy seafood as long as it is fresh, wild and I cannot smell it when it comes out of the meat case. Yes, I do smell each and every piece of fish before I lay down the dollars. There is little worse than paying a lot of money for something, only to find out when you get it home it is already spoiled. That’s right. If you can smell it and it smells like anything other than an ocean breeze, it’s already bad. That being said, please try my healthy low-cal spicy shellfish soup, heavily seasoned with chipotle, cumin, thyme and oregano. If you have followed my articles, you know I’m not much on subtly in my soups and food in general. This recipe is no exception.
Clams, Scallops and Shrimp in a Chipotle Tequila Broth
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 cups yellow onion, chopped
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
5 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups low-sodium (gluten-free) chicken broth or homemade stock (which is much better)
1/4 cup tequila
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons tomato paste
3 teaspoons chopped seeded chipotle chili, canned in adobo sauce
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 (14.5-ounce) can low/no sodium diced tomatoes, undrained
24 littleneck clams
1/2 pound sea scallops (fresh diver scallops preferred if available)
1/2 pound peeled and deveined medium shrimp
1 lime juiced
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1. Using a stiff bristle brush, scrub the clams removing any loose debris. Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add yellow onion, bell pepper, black pepper, and salt to pan; sauté 5 minutes or until the onions are translucent.
2. Add garlic; sauté 2 minutes, being careful not to burn the garlic. Add the chicken stock/broth, tequila, cumin, tomato paste, chipotle, thyme oregano, and turmeric. Reduce heat to low, and simmer 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Add the clams and cover cooking for about 8 minutes or until shells open. Discard any unopened shells.
4. Add the shrimp and scallops to the soup; cook 7 minutes or just until done.
5. Add the lime juice.
6. Ladle into large shallow bowls; garnish with cilantro, and green onions.
For added heat and smokiness, just and more
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Until next time, greet a perfect stranger with a big smile, and shake hands asking him/her “Remember me?” When they look confused and admit they don’t, tell them “Some friend you are,” and walk away. They’ll be scratching their head all day trying to “place you.”
Blessings and good times,
Chef David Hall
Thyme for a Chef, LLC
(impractical joker and chef at large)