Captain Cook’s Secret Ingredient (August 2002)

The Captain’s Conch Chowder

3 1/2 pounds conch
6 limes or equal amount of lime juice
1/2 gallon to 12 cups water
4 tablespoons coconut oil** or butter
1/3 cup flour
2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 head garlic, minced
1 cup okra, if available
2 medium potatoes, diced
2 cups tomatoes, canned or fresh, crushed
1 carrot, sliced
2 cups cabbage, shredded
1 cup summer squash, sliced
1 small onion, chopped
1 small green pepper, diced
1 spicy sausage, sliced
Hot sauce, to taste

Tenderize conch by pounding meat until soft. Squeeze lime juice over meat; rinse off with water. Chop into bite-size chunks. Place conch in large pot, add water and coconut oil or butter, and boil for 20 to 30 minutes. Brown flour in a frying pan with a touch of oil; stir constantly until color changes. Add to pot, stirring well. Add garlic, vegetables, and potatoes. Simmer for 20 more minutes or until veggies are tender and soup thickens a bit. Season to taste. This is a filling meal in itself. Serve with beer or wine -- bread and cheese make a nice side dish, if desired. Have hot sauce on hand for those who want that special kick!
**Online coconut oil sources include: Coconut Oil Online. Com (www.coconutoil-online.com/index.html) and Wilderness Family Naturals (http://wildernessfamilynaturals.com/mail/virgin_coconut_oil.asp).