My family tradition every Halloween is to have stew in a pumpkin. Not only is this visually appealing, but the pumpkin adds really nice flavour to the stew. You can also carve morsels of pumpkin away from the walls as you eat it. Throughout my childhood, my mom would mostly make us chilli in a pumpkin. Now that I have taken on the role of cook, it is nice to mix up the recipes a little year to year. I thought this seafood stew might be a fun one to try for this Halloween.
And for the record, I would like to announce that I grew the pumpkin my stew is going into this year. I am so proud, as it is the first pumpkin I have ever grown! Now, let’s hope it tastes good and not like dirt!
Wild Seafood Halloween Chowder
- 3 mini pumpkins
- Salt and black pepper
- Cayenne pepper
- Smoked paprika
- Chilli flakes
- Olive oil
- 1 small white onion, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 300ml fish stock
- 150ml milk
- 75ml dry white wine
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 sprigs thyme
- 2 medium potatoes cut into 1cm² dice
- 75g each of wild salmon, Dungeness crab, sablefish, halibut and shrimp – all in chunks
- 150ml crème fraîche
- Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
- 1 tbsp chopped chives, plus extra to serve
- 2 tbsp chopped parsley, plus extra to serve
1. Preheat the oven to 190°C.
2. Slice the tops off the pumpkins and scoop out the seeds but don’t throw them away. Place the seeds on a baking tray and sprinkle over salt, cayenne pepper, smoked paprika, chilli flakes and a little olive oil.
3.Brush the pumpkin bases and tops with olive oil and sprinkle over chilli flakes, and then bake in the oven for 25 minutes. At this stage, also place the pumpkin seeds in the oven and bake for a further 5-10 minutes until golden.
4. Meanwhile, make the chowder by sweating the onion and garlic in 1 tbsp olive oil in a large pan. Add the fish stock, milk, white wine, bay leaf and thyme, along with a pinch of salt and cayenne pepper.
5. Bring to the boil and then add the potato cubes. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes or until the potatoes are just about cooked, then add the seafood.
6. Simmer for 2-3 minutes, until the seafood is cooked through then stir through the lemon zest, crème fraîche, chives and parsley.
7. Ladle the soup into the pumpkin mugs and scatter over pumpkin seeds, chives and parsley before serving.
Cook’s tip: The pumpkin mugs are optional, so leave them out if you are short for time!
Recipe modified from: The Food Network’s Wild Alaskan Seafood Halloween Chowder