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Norman's Creamy Conch Chowder With Saffron And Toasted Coconut


  • 1/4 pound bacon, diced
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 jalapenos, seeded and diced
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 1/2 bunch celery, diced
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 1 yellow pepper diced
  • 2 banana peppers, diced
  • 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper
  • 10 small, new potatoes, diced
  • 1 quart peeled plum tomatoes, crushed
  • 1 quart tomato puree
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 bunch fresh thyme
  • 1 bunch fresh oregano
  • 1 bunch fresh marjoram
  • 1 bunch fresh basil
  • 2 quarts fish stock
  • 2 cups clam juice
  • 1 quart heavy cream
  • 2 1/2 pounds cleaned and ground conch meat
  • 2 pinches of saffron
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup toasted coconut
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives
  • Tabasco sauce


  • In a large pot, render the bacon with olive oil. When the bacon is rendered, add the jalapenos, onions, celery, carrots, green peppers, yellow peppers, and banana peppers. Add the crushed red pepper and season with salt and pepper. Add the potatoes, tomatoes and tomato puree. Reduce the heat and add the bay leaves. Tie the fresh herbs in cheese cloth and add to the pot. Whisk in the fish stock, clam juice, and cream. Bring up to the boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender. Whisk in conch and saffron. Simmer for 2 to 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Ladle into a shallow bowl and garnish with coconut and chives and Tabasco.