A seafood restaurant somewhat recently opened up in Virginia-Highlands, Goin' Coastal. I haven't had the chance to dine there just yet but I thought I'd "borrow" their recipe for delicious shrimp chowder. And it was indeed delicious. I will have to pay them a visit in the near future. Eating the soup made me feel like I was somewhere in Savannah enjoying hot soup and a beautiful view of the river. But in reality, it was more like the rain gushing down outside my window. Uh, hello sunshine, where did you go? I may need to have a talk with the weather gods because two weeks ago we were snowed in, last weekend it was in the 70's and I was enjoying a cold beer on a patio and now it's cold and rainy again. Anyways, the soup was yummy and I made corn muffins to go with it. We also enjoyed a Chardonnay from Three Sisters Winery. More on that later...
From the menu of Goin' Coastal
Makes 13 cups (I didn't make this much, don't you worry)
3 cups seafood stock
3 bay leaves
1 pound, peeled shrimp, cut in thirds
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 and 1/2 cups finely diced yellow onion
3/4 cup finely diced celery
3/4 shredded carrots
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons seafood seasoning
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
1 pound unpeeled red potatoes, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 tablespoon hot sauce
1 and 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 cup frozen corn, thawed
1/4 cup minced parsley
salt and pepper
In a large saucepan, bring seafood stock and bay leaves to a boil. Turn off heat and add shrimp. Cover pan and allow shrimp to poach while you start the chowder.
In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, celery, carrots, and garlic and saute for 3 minutes. Add seafood seasoning and cook for another 3 minutes.
Drain seafood stock into saucepan with vegetables. Set shrimp aside. Discard bay leaves.
Add tomato sauce, potatoes, and hot sauce to the stock mixture and cook over medium heat until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. Turn heat to low, add cream and corn; stir to combine. When soup is heated through, remove pan from heat and stir in shrimp and parsley. Taste for seasoning and serve.
Okay, so back to the wine...Georgia is the last place you probably think of when you imagine wine. I know it was for me until I spent a weekend in Georgia Wine Country. No, that's not a typo there actually is one. Now, a lot of the places here are known for their sweet wines and I am NOT a fan of sweet wine. It's unfortunate that not many places serve Georgia wine and that most people turn their noses up at the thought of it. On my visit, I was pleasantly surprised by what I found (and I have visited Napa and Sonoma.) My favorite Georgia winery is Three Sisters Vineyards. It is probably the most causal, laid-back winery but don't be fooled. They make some damn good wines. If you do visit, they do a free tasting and also a premium tasting for a fee. (The premium tasting is not to be missed!) My favorites are the Cynthiana, Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc, Vidal Blanc, and Pinot Blanc. The Fat Boy line is also quite good if you are looking for a less expensive bottle. Other honorable mentions for Georgia wineries are: Wolf Mountain Winery, Frogtown, and Montaluce Winery (I love to look at the estates around this one.)