Thursday, October 21, 2010

Day 71! Honduras - How 'bout a Road Trip to HMart? Spicy Curry Conch Chowder - Up Next, Hungary

Exotic Curry Conch Chowder

Yes! I found conch!! But wait - not only that, I discovered a whole new shopping galaxy known as HMart  and nothing, I mean NOTHING could have prepared me for the...the...volume, variety and sensory-overloadness of this Asian market experience. 

Picture, if you will, a BJ's-sized store packed full of every possible type of exotic produce, seafood, meat, noodles, rice, spices and virtually anything needed for Asian cooking, including a huge selection of dishes, cooking utensils and gadgets. 

So about Honduras and tonight's meal...Curry Conch Chowder
Located in Central America, Honduras is bordered by Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua. Honduras' cuisine is a fusion of African, Indigenous and Spanish flavors. Interestingly, this country uses more coconut in sweet and savory dishes than any other Central American country. Papaya, plums, pineapples, soups, seafood, roasted meats and rice & beans are all enjoyed by Hondurans.

 Not just any conch - oh no baby, these are Baby Conch - sweet and tender

 That's right, I got to use my grinder to mince them up - is this not the most badass rig ever??!!
 Look at that - a simple disk attachment, a crank of the handle and presto - beautifully minced baby conch
 Bay leaves. I took the picture because I love this jar (.50 at a yard sale) and the camera saw a psychedelic image -viva the 60's - I can't help it - I'm from Cambridge.
 A lovely twist to the chowder - curry powder mixed with cream - I used Jamaican curry because I love the yellow color and the rich flavor. Indian curry would have been too dark and would have muddied up the color of the chowder.
Oh, wait - another HMart score - I made these for my son tonight - shazam - they were crazy good!
The Scallion Pancakes - not part of the meal, but they were too pretty not to include
 I couldn't decide whether to serve corn or flour tortillas with the chowder, so I went with both
 Lovely curried cream, blended into the chowder along with sherry at the end
Fantastic and beautiful to look at as well. I loved the combination of conch, curry, cream and tomatoes

Exotic Curry Conch Chowder ( Adapted from Caribbean Recipes from Roatan Honduras)
  • 1 lb. conch
  • 1 large onion
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1-2 cups conch broth 
  • 4 tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tsp. curry powder (or more to taste)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 pinch thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 small can tomato paste
  • 3-4 Tbsp. sherry
  • Fresh chopped parsley for garnish
Grind the conch and boil in water until tender. Reverse cooking water. Fry onion in frying pan with butter until cooked (not browned). Add bay leaves and thyme.Add tomatoes, sugar, conch broth, conch and tomato paste. Simmer until tomatoes are soft. Add cream/curry and sherry and simmer (do not boil) until hot. Serve in bowls, with tortillas and garnished with parsley.

Final Assessment: This was a wonderful dish. I'd never had conch before. They're not that different from sea clams and the combination of tomatoes, curry and cream was sublime. A+

1 comment:

KK said...

lol - hey wait, didn't you have our conch chowder ? If not we'll have to make you your own batch :) and isn't H Mart the COOLEST ??? Love it !!