This time of the year brings on a ‘mixed-bag’ of weather patterns. The past few days have been very dark, cool, and precipitous in South Florida. The sun has disappeared for a few days and makes me feel like I’m in a Maine or New Hampshire territory.
With days like these, one can’t help but to crave warm and comforting dishes like a clam chowder. Well, I’m not a lover of clam, so my culinary mind went to the my freezer. Inside this freezer, tucked in the rear are some left-over servings of baked ham from past Christmas(have to use that up). So, instead of clam, I made yours truly ham chowder with a Caribbean and a Mediterranean twist.
- Left-over Ham (1/4 cup)diced
- Crispy bacon (2 strips)
- Irish potato (1 large) diced
- Cauliflower (3/4 cup)
- Celery (2 stalks) diced
- Loose corn (1/2 cup)
- Onion (Med.) diced
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Coconut milk (1 cup)
- Paprika (1/4 tsp)
- Cumin (pinch)
- Curry powder (pinch)
- Corn starch (1 tsp)
- Water (3 cups)
- All spice (pimento) (1/4 tsp)
- Thyme (1 tsp)
- Parsley (garnish)
- In a sturdy stock pot, render bacon slices and set aside.
- Drain excess bacon fat. Add a drizzle of olive oil and add diced onions, celery, chopped cauliflower, loose corn, etc. and slowly stir removing all the bits.
- Season with salt, pepper, paprika, and other seasonings along with thyme.
- Add Coconut milk and water.
- Place lid on pot and allow to simmer until tender.
- Mix corn starch (if needed) to provide extra thickness).
- Few minutes to completion of dish add diced left-over ham.
I served my Caribbean/Mediterranean ham chowder with a garnish of parsley and bacon bits along with a generous and warm piece of crusty baguette. The flavors were bold, flavorful and super delicious. I was over the moon as I watched the ducks did their dips.
What do you know? On this cool and marvelous Florida day, the sun has chosen to raise its brilliant head. Now, it’s perfect. Guys, be kind to your loved ones as well as your beautiful palates.