Sweetcorn and seafood chowder in garlic-butter bread bowls

This delicious chowder recipe is summery in flavour, yet warming within.

I devised this delicious recipe—summery in flavour, yet warming within—after a recent trip to visit friends in Norfolk. One evening, having enjoyed a long, sunny, bucket-and-spade day at the beach, we sat outside—tired and covered in salt and sand—and watched the sun go down, eating bowls of delicious chowder. Fresh sweetcorn is heaven!

Sweetcorn-and-seafood chowder in garlic-butter bread bowls (serves 4)


For the chowder
Splash of olive oil
1 red onion, diced
2 celery stalks, finely chopped 2 red chillies, sliced
3 corn on the cob
1 large potato, peeled and diced
1.75 pints (1 litre) hot vegetable stock
100g smoked haddock, cut into bite-size chunks 100g cooked prawns 100g cod, cut into bite-size chunks
50ml single cream
Handful fresh parsley, chopped

For the bread bowls
4 small round loaves of bread
3 cloves garlic, crushed
Handful fresh parsley, chopped
100g butter

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Chop the onion and fry it gently in the splash of olive oil until soft, but not browned, before adding the chopped celery stalks and red chillies and continuing to cook for a couple of minutes. Cut the sweetcorn kernels off the cobs, add them to the pan and stir for a further few minutes, then pour in the stock and add the peeled and diced potato.

Simmer until the potato is almost tender before dropping in the pieces of cod and smoked haddock. Continue to cook for a few more minutes, then add the prawns to heat through. Finally, pour in the single cream, stir well, add the parsley and simmer gently while you prepare the garlic-bread bowls.

Slice the tops off the loaves of bread, then scoop out the centre so you’re left with four bowl-shaped pieces of bread. Make the garlic butter by melting the butter in a microwave, adding the crushed garlic cloves, chopped parsley and seasoning and mixing it well before brushing the insides of the loaves—and just over the top of the outer lip—with the garlic butter (the smell will be divine), then ladle in the chowder and serve immediately. With these bowls you won’t mind anyone wandering off!

More ways with sweetcorn

seafood chowderSweetcorn and shredded-vegetable fritters (left)
Grate 1 carrot, 1 sweet potato, 2 courgettes into a bowl and add kernels cut from 2 ears corn, 1 handful kale, 1 handful herbs (such as basil and parsley), 100g plain flour, 4 beaten eggs and seasoning and mix well together. Drop spoonfuls of the mixture into hot oil in a frying pan and cook for a few minutes before turning over to cook the other side. Serve with a lightly dressed salad, a dollop of hummus and grated lemon zest.

Crab-and-sweetcorn salad
Butter two ears of corn and season well, wrap in foil and roast in a hot oven for 30 minutes. Once cooked, cut the kernels off, then divide between two bowls along with mixed salad leaves and a couple of tablespoons of white crabmeat. Add a few slices of red chilli, chopped avocado, some fresh coriander and a light vinaigrette dressing, then serve.

Sweetcorn ice cream
Cut the kernels off 4 corn on the cob, then add 300ml milk, 400ml double cream and 200g caster sugar and bring to a simmer in a pan, before leaving to cool so the flavours infuse, then blitz with a handheld blender. In a separate bowl, beat 6 egg yolks, then pour about a cup of the creamed sweetcorn mixture onto the eggs and stir continuously before pouring everything into the saucepan. Heat until the custard thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, then refrigerate. Once chilled, use an ice-cream maker to transform the mixture into ice cream, then serve accompanied by berries.