This non-traditional chowder features bay scallops and hot, but not too hot, roasted poblano chilis. Generally, calico bay scallops are used; make sure they have not been chemically treated for plumpness and preservation. Sea scallops, which have a more pronounced flavor, also could be used. Just remove the hard adductor muscle sticking to the side of the scallop, and then cut into bite-size pieces. (Add the trimmings to your broth for extra flavor.)
1 quart chicken stock (or fish stock)
Any trimmings from sea scallops
1/4 cup raw white rice
2 large sprigs thyme
2 bay leaves
1 pound yellow potatoes, peeled and diced
1 pound white corn kernels (frozen or fresh)
2 poblano chiles, roasted, peeled, and diced
1 white onion, diced
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
2 pounds naturally packed bay scallops
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Simmer together stock, sea scallop trimmings, rice, thyme, bay leaves, and onion trimmings, till rice is quite soft. Puree in blender, and strain.
Simmer potatoes in broth till soft, about 15 minutes. Combine broth with corn kernels and roasted chiles; bring to a boil and season with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, cook onion in butter until transparent, then add scallops; cook briefly until scallops turn opaque. Add to broth and serve.
Yield: Makes 12 servings
Nutritional data per serving: Calories, 199; protein, 18 grams; carbohydrates, 22 grams; fat, 6 grams; cholesterol, 44 milligrams; sodium, 769 milligrams.