Meat from 1 cooked lobster
4 to 8 ounces (125 to 250 g) fresh scallops
6 to 8 raw jumbo shrimp (if using cooked shrimp, add just before serving)
6 fresh clams, in shells
6 fresh mussels, in shells
1 small haddock fillet, cut into bite-size pieces (optional)
4 to 5 medium potatoes, cubed
2 medium onions, diced
2 to 3 tablespoons (15 to 30 mL) butter
1 can (385 mL) evaporated milk
light cream or whole milk
2 bay leaves
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons (30 mL) chopped parsley, or to taste
Garnish: cayenne pepper and chopped parsley
Prepare seafood: remove meat from lobster, cut into bite-size pieces. Leave scallops whole. Peel raw shrimp. Wipe haddock, if using, and cut into bite-size pieces. Place clams and mussels in water to soak; remove beards from mussels. Place all seafood in fridge until needed.
In a stockpot, cook potatoes and onions in enough water to keep them from sticking, for about 12 to 15 minutes. They should be just barely cooked (still crunchy). Remove from heat and lay haddock (if using) on top. Cover pot and set aside.
Using half of the butter, gently sauté lobster over low heat just until a reddish sauce is formed. Do not overcook or the lobster will be tough. Add scallops and shrimp and sauté for one minute more. Remove from heat; keep warm.
Drain potato mixture. Add evaporated milk and enough milk or cream to make desired thickness. Gently stir in seafood and butter sauce. Add a little extra milk to the sauté pan; scrape and add to pot. Add bay leaves; gently simmer until potatoes are fully cooked and flavours blend. Add remaining butter and stir when melted. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in parsley.
Just before serving, steam clams and mussels until shells open, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove bay leaves. Ladle chowder into a serving dish or individual bowls. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and cayenne. Arrange shellfish (in shell) around edge of bowl on top of chowder. Serve with crusty bread. Makes 4 servings.