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Recipe

Caribbean Conch Chowder With Conch Fritters

  • Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 3 slices bacon, diced
  • 4 whole allspice berries
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onions
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrots
  • 1/2 cup chopped green bell peppers
  • 1 Scotch bonnet (habanero) pepper, stemmed, seeded, and minced, or to taste
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh garlic
  • 4 cups seeded and chopped fresh tomatoes, with their juices
  • 6 cups shellfish stock or clam juice
  • 1 1/2 pounds new potatoes, quartered
  • 2 pounds cleaned and diced conch meat
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley leaves
  • Caribbean Conch Fritters

Directions

  • In a large pot, cook the bacon over medium heat until browned and the fat is rendered, about 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon.
  • In the center of a 6-inch square piece of cheesecloth, place the allspice, bay leaves, and thyme. Draw up the sides to form a pouch and tie with kitchen twine to form a bouquet garni.
  • To the fat in the pan, add the onions, celery, carrots, and bell peppers and cook over medium-high heat, stirring, until soft, about 4 minutes. Add the hot pepper and garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the stock and potatoes and bring to a boil. Add the bouquet garni, reduce the heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 25 minutes. Add the conch and cook until the meat is tender, about 20 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat and discard the bouquet garni. Add the lime juice and parsley, stir to combine, and adjust the seasoning to taste.
  • Ladle into soup bowls with several fritters served in each bowl. Serve hot.