I have a seafood allergy, so I often adapt recipes, like this one. I regularly make this for a weekday dinner – it’s easy, fast, and tasty. Plus, it’s a one-pot recipe, which saves on the washing up. I always make this amount, which serves 4, even if it’s only 1 or 2 for dinner, as left-overs keep very well (although the greens lose their colour). Being able to eat copious amounts of this with a spoon is definitely the cherry on top.
The recipe is based on Nigella’s Chowder with Asian flavours, from Nigella Express. I won’t give her recipe here, as it’s freely available on her website. Instead, I’m giving a rough blueprint of what I typically do.
500 to 750 ml chicken or vegetable stock
500 g potatoes
Half of a leek, or 3-4 spring onions
1 tin of low-fat coconut milk
400 to 600 g ham and/or chicken (although less is fine too)
50 ml or so bottled lime juice
1 tin of sweetcorn (I will also add half a tin of baby corn, if I have any on hand)
salt, pepper, paprika, chilli power to taste
- Peel (or not, especially when using the new small potatoes that have barely any skin) and dice the potatoes, to roughly the size of corn kernels. Tip into a large pot and start cooking on low heat, while preparing the rest of the ingredients.
- Cut up the leek/spring onion, and mix this in with the potatoes. I only add the white parts for now.
- Heat the stock (I wouldn’t recommend cubed or powdered, but use concentrated or pre-made) and add to the pot and bring to the boil. Make sure the potatoes are cooked before proceeding further – shouldn’t take long as they’re cut small.
- While waiting for the potatoes to cook, cut up the ham/chicken into small dice, and drain and rinse out the corn. Add the meat to the pot and bring to the boil for about 5 minutes (longer if not using pre-cooked meat).
- Add the coconut milk and mix well. Add lime juice to taste.
- Add the corn and the green of the leek/spring onions, bring to the boil for a few minutes.
- Add the seasonings to taste (I add the paprika for colour).
I find this a very satisfying, but not heavy, meal, somewhere between a chowder and a Thai-inspired thin curry. There are plenty of flavours that work really well together. The amounts of the ingredients are quite forgiving, and I usually just go with what’s in the cupboard. For example, I have substituted potatoes with rice (cooked separately), or when I didn’t have much potato, I’d serve with toasted bread. I’ve used a range of meat, from pastrami to smoked chicken. To be honest, I usually eat 2 servings myself, just because I like it that much.