Easy, “Husband-Friendly” Seafood Chowder

When it comes to matters of food, marrying my husband has been an interesting experience.

He’d been raised by a single father, on a diet consisting of things like Rice A Roni, canned soup, and Hamburger Helper. Not too long after he’d moved out on his own, he became deathly ill and learned to hate food, as eating made him even more sick. Though he eventually had life saving surgery, he wasn’t the biggest fan of food.

On my end, I’d grown up with a single mom. Money wasn’t always there, sometimes we had to live on donated army ration packs… but whenever she’d have a little money, she’d cook amazing meals, being very creative with what she had. We ate some GREAT food, growing up.

When I met my husband, I’d just come out of a long relationship with the pickiest eater I’ve ever met, and I hadn’t been *allowed* to cook many dishes in the house – chili, lasagna – because he hated the smell. I was dying to get back to cooking something other than meat and potatoes.

I must say, he adapted nicely to having someone cook for him. He got over his hatred of food, and has come to love trying new things. I’ve actually kind of created a bit of a monster :). He’s a sushi fiend. He loves all kinds of ethnic foods, and I can make almost *anything*, and he’ll love it. He does have a few sticking points, though… which brings me to today’s recipe.

The man doesn’t like cooked fish!

Yes, he will plow through a plate of salmon sushi like nobody’s business, but won’t touch cooked salmon. It smells/tastes “too fishy” for him. Although I prepare it in ways that are less offensive to him than he’s experienced in the past… well, we just don’t serve salmon here. Any cooked fish has to be fairly bland, and only served in extreme moderation.

Well, last night I wanted seafood chowder. We happen to have a fair amount of seafood in our freezer, and I’ve been dying to get into a pack of frozen cod we picked up a couple weeks ago. He loves shrimp, scallops, etc… so I figured I would pull together a “husband-friendly” seafood chowder.

In addition to basing the meat in cod (acceptable to him) – as well as shrimp and scallops – I added other very “husband-friendly” elements. A fair amount of bacon, along with mushrooms and red peppers brought other non-fish flavors to the table. As he is obsessed with corn, I made sure to incorporate a fair amount of it. I actually chose to use a can of creamed corn, for texture. As much as I love chowder, too much dairy really turns my stomach. Creamed corn goes a long way to achieving a good chowder thickness, without relying on TOO much milk – only 1 cup in the whole recipe!

This turns out a wonderfully thick, chunky, and colorful chowder. Hope you love it as much as we BOTH did!

Easy Seafood Chowder

½ lb bacon, sliced into small pieces
½ small onion, finely chopped
4-6 oz button mushrooms, cleaned and chopped
1 red pepper, finely chopped
4 medium potatoes, washed and cubed
3 ½ cups water
1 can creamed corn
1 cup milk
1-2 lbs cod loins, cubed
1 cup bay scallops
½ – 1 lb shrimp, peeled and chopped
Salt and pepper

In a medium saucepan, cook bacon over medium heat until cooked but not yet crispy. Add onion, mushrooms, and red pepper. Continue to cook, stirring every once in awhile, until onions are translucent and all veggies are softened.

Add chopped potatoes and water. Bring heat to high, cook at a rolling boil for 10-15 minutes or until potatoes are almost cooked through.

When potatoes are about ready, add creamed corn and milk, bring back to a boil. Add cod and scallops, continue to cook for another 5 minutes. Add shrimp, cook just until shrimp is cooked (will turn pink)

Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Makes 8ish servings.

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