Saint Kitts and Nevis Conch Chowder is a classic seafood, and a hearty meal in itself. The unique combination of ingredients and special spices make it distinctively Caribbean.
Conch Chowder Recipe-
- 1 pound fresh conch (or abalone) meat, trimmed, pounded with a meat hammer to tenderize, and chopped into 1/2″ cubes
- 1 tbsp. Jamaican Jerk Seasoning sauce (Jerk comes in mild, medium, hot, and very hot, so this ingredient is key in determining what level of spicy hotness your conch chowder will be. It will already have 1 tbsp. of Ghost Pepper Hot sauce and one Scotch Bonnet hot chili pepper, so keep that in mind when you choose)
- 6 tbsp. fresh squeezed lime juice
- 10 tbsp. tomato paste
- 4 slices thick bacon, chopped into 1/2″ long pieces
- 3 tbsp. scallion infused olive oil
- 1 onion, peeled and chopped fine
- 3 celery stalks, trimmed and chopped fine
- 6 large cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped fine
- 1 Scotch Bonnet hot chili pepper, seeded, finely chopped (if you want your conch chowder to be as hot-spicy as possible, leave the seeds in)
- 4 large ripe red tomatoes, seeded and rough chopped
- 1/4 cup good quality dark rum
- 1 lb. potatoes, peeled and diced into 1/2″ cubes
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp. dried thyme
- 1 tsp. Ghost Pepper Tropical Naga Jolokia Hot Sauce
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, rough chopped, for garnish
- Even though your conch has been pounded, to make it even more tender, marinate it for a couple hours in a bowl with the lime juice and tomato sauce combined and mixed thoroughly throughout the meat cubes.
- Fry the bacon chunks in a large skillet or cooking pot until well browned and almost (but not quite) crispy.
- Pour most of the fat out, but leave a little (about 1 tbsp.) in the skillet.
- Adjust the heat to medium high, add in the scallion infused olive oil and, when the oil is nice and hot, add in the celery, hot pepper, green pepper, onion and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion and garlic are fragrant and starting to brown.
- Next, add in the tomatoes, stir and blend into the mixture, and cook for another minute.
- Now add the potatoes, conch mixture, bay leaf, thyme and rum. Bring the mixture to a vigorous boil, and then reduce the heat to where your conch chowder is cooking at a lively simmer, then stir in the Ghost Pepper Hot Sauce and the Jamaican Jerk seasoning.
- Simmer for about one hour, or until the potatoes are fork tender. Discard bay leaf.
- Serve your Conch Chowder while nice and hot, with each serving bowl garnished with a sprinkling of fresh cilantro.