As you know, Lent starts in earnest to day for the Orthodox. Five weeks behind the Western culture, we will just now start our journey. We actually started several weeks ago but we start the "fast" today in our house. I found a great recipe that sticks strictly to the rules of lent, no meat, no fish no dairy. Shrimp is OK as it is a "fish" without a backbone. Decades of discussion have followed that particular rule and I am not sure anyone still gets why. We have been stocking and taking advantage of sales on seafood for the last few weeks and have enough shrimp for the whole season as well as Cod, Salmon and Tuna. We don't usually pay that close attention to the backbone rule and occasionally have dairy especially for work related meals.
The hardest part of Lent is not the fast at any level of participation. For me, personally it's the struggle with my mouth (like a sewer) and thought process. To give up cursing and judgement on my unsuspecting fellow occupants of the planet is the most difficult part of lent and I will fail miserably time and time again throughout the season. St. John Chrysostom said it best when he wrote:
"Let the mouth fast from disgraceful and abusive words, because, what gain is there when, on the one hand we avoid eating chicken and fish and, on the other, we chew-up and consume our brothers? "Well stated.
Curried Shrimp and Corn Chowder
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 large Yukon Gold potatoes
- 1 large sweet potato
- 2 cups corn kernels (about 5 ears)
- 1 (14-ounce) can chicken broth (or vegetable)
- 1 (13.5-ounce) can light coconut milk
- 2 teaspoons curry powder
- salt and pepper
- 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
- green onions
- roasted peanuts or sliced almonds
- Heat a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the olive oil and onions. Cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Peel and dice the potatoes.
- Add the garlic, potatoes, corn, broth, coconut milk, curry powder, and salt and pepper.
- Bring the soup to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for about 20 to 25 minutes. Make sure the potatoes are tender. Add the shrimp and cook until they turn pick, about 4 minutes.
- Garnish with coconut, sliced green onions, and peanuts.