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Shellfish Chowder

Contributed By: Nancy Hempel of Braham, MN      Yields 4-6 servings

Ingredients:

5 bacon slices, finely chopped
2 boiling potatoes, cut into ¼-inch dice (1 ½ cups)
½ c. finely chopped shallots
¾ c. bottled clam juice
2 ½ c. whole milk
⅛ tsp. cayenne
¼ lb. shrimp, shelled, deveined, and cut into ½-inch pieces
½ lb. sea scallops, quartered and tough muscle removed from side of each if necessary
1 tsp. salt
½ lb. shelled cooked lobster meat, cut into ½-inch-thick pieces, or ½ lb. lump crabmeat
2 T. chopped fresh cilantro
2 T. chopped fresh chives

Preparation Instructions:

Cook bacon until crisp. Save 1 T. bacon fat in pot. Transfer bacon to paper towels to drain. Stir potatoes, shallots, and clam juice with 1 T. bacon fat. Simmer, covered, until potatoes are tender and most of liquid is evaporated. Stir in milk and cayenne and return just to simmer. Add shrimp, scallops and salt and simmer, stirring occasionally, until shellfish is just cooked through. Stir in lobster and half of herbs and simmer 1 minute. Serve chowder topped with bacon and remaining herbs.

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