Thursday, December 15, 2011

Fish Chowder

If you've read this blog before, you know that I like food that is easy, as well as a nice big warm bowl of soup or stew.  Well, another thing I like is recipes that are highly adaptable.  While I try to meal plan, I'm not great at keeping track of what is actually in my cupboard.  My poor husband does regularly have to make a quick run to the grocery store to get me whatever it is I may need.  So, I like a recipe where you don't really NEED anything.  A "throw in what you've got" recipe.

I feel like this recipe suits that need.

I also liked the fact that this soup was very light.  Cream soups are often quite heavy - especially chowders - and make me feel like I should probably do a bunch of sit-ups.  Except for the goopy chowder is now sitting like a rock in the pit of my stomach, so sit-ups are really out of the question.

This was very light, and almost tasted a little citrus-y to me, even though there's no citrus in the recipe.  I would suggest using a high quality champagne or white wine vinegar.  It's the only acid in the recipe, and the flavor is important.  I feel like it's a good light winter meal, but also would probably be very good in the summer.  Also, if you're not limited in your ingredients, you could do a lot of experimenting with the recipe base.  I feel like shrimp could be a nice addition, or maybe some bay scallops.  Or both.  Add them at the end where you would have added the fish (or add fish to for a super-seafood chowder!)

I added corn, which was not in the original recipe, because I had some frozen corn from the summer.  You could also add mushrooms, for a richer, earthier chowder.  Or, really, whatever vegetables you have!

I also could have topped this with the corn salsa I made during my canning frenzy, but I totally didn't think about it until it was too late.

Also, I want to point out that this recipe has NO garlic.  NONE?  Yes, none.  And it still tasted good.  I am shocked.  I didn't feel like it needed it...

Trout and Potato Chowder
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, finely chopped (celery saves in the freezer well for purposes like this.  So plan ahead for the winter!  Wait, it's too late.  Sorry, I should have told you that two months ago.)
  • 1 lb potatoes, unpeeled
  • 4 cups stock (fish, vegetable, or chicken.  I don't feel like my fish stock has quite enough flavor, so I used 2 cups fish and two cups chicken.)
  • 2/3 cups dry white wine
  • 1 tsp dried tarragon
  • 1/2 cup diced cooked ham
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels 
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 lb fresh white fish (I used rushing waters trout)
  • 1/2 lb smoked fish (again, rushing waters trout...)
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 tsp white wine vinegar
In a large frying pan over medium heat (or using the browning feature on your slow cooker if it has one), melt the butter.  Add the onion and celery and saute until softened, about 6 minutes.  Transfer the contents of pans to a slow cooker (if not already there!)

Cut the potatoes into 1/2 inch cubes and add to the slow cooker.  Season with salt and pepper, and stir to combine.  Top with stock, wine, tarragon, ham, and corn.  Cover and cook on the low setting for 6-8 hours.  The potatoes should be very tender.

Cut the fresh fish into 1 inch pieces.  Remove the skin from the smoked fish, discard the skin, and flake the smoked fish into pieces.  Add the fish and cream to the slow cooker, and increase the setting to high.  Cook for 20 to 30 minutes, until fish is firm and opaque.  Stir in the vinegar, taste, and adjust the seasoning.

As a final note: Come on, Russia!  Where did you go?  Germany is taking a big lead.  But you can crush them!  Click on a bunch of links.  You don't have to read anything, just click the links.  Lets get those international page views up!

1 comment:

  1. I don't like really fishy fish. But I was convinced just two days ago to try someone's "fish chowder" at our department pot lot and it was really, really good. Good enough that I just might have to try this even though a week ago I would never have even considered it.