To have a great mealtime experience, you need to combine different dishes to have a good course. There should be a build-up to the main course, and the best way to start it is by serving a delicious appetizer—seafood chowder, for instance.

You can never go wrong with seafood chowder. It’s nutritious and scrumptious at the same time. More importantly, it’s easy to prepare. However, don’t let its simplicity fool you. Its flavor is textured and multilayered, and you can always find new ways to reinvent it and make it better.

For seafood chowder, you can use a variety of seafood ingredients. Some prefer to use clam, shrimp, salmon, or lobster. If you can’t find any of these at hand in your kitchen, you could use a seafood or lobster base. These are available for sale in many groceries. Here’s some of the ways you can make your chowder even more flavorful.

Keep it Fresh

For the freshest seafood, it is better to go to your local fish market to get the latest catch. Fresh fish have a mild scent and red or pink gills. If you’re going to buy frozen fish, make sure they also smell fresh and are cut cleanly.  A strong fishy odor is not a good sign.

Lobsters and crabs should be bought live. Lift them to check if they’re heavy, as it indicates meatiness. When buying frozen lobster, you can choose to buy the tail as it preserves more flavor.

The Creamier, the Better

Chowders are supposed to be creamy, so don’t be afraid to use cream. A thicker soup consistency is better for dipping breads. You can add milk and unflavored cream, but if you want a more creamy flavor, you can use butter or margarine.

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Add Some Herbs and Spices

To give it more flavor and aroma, add some herbs, potatoes, and even chicken bits. If you want to give it a smoky taste, add some bacon or ham slices.

Chowder has been a mainstay of European cooking for centuries, but that does not mean you can’t use it as an appetizer for your formal dinner party. Impress your friends with your take on seafood chowder, and soon you’ll have a dinner party that worth remembering.