Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Dana's Fish Chowder

I have SO MUCH to blog about this week but have been busy/lathargic/weird/overwhelmed with school stuff, blah blah anyway. I'll share my thoughts before too long, but with the cold weather holding on, I offer my sister's fish chowder recipe as a placeholder (it's delish!):

1.5 cups smoked salmon
1 cup smoked white fish (optional)
1 can chopped clams
1 can crab meat
half lb. cooked devained, de-tailed shrimp

3 leeks, bottom half chopped up
3 cloves of garlic finely chopped
4-5 red skin potatoes, cubed
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 cups frozen sweet corn
handful of freshly chopped chives for garnish

3 cups seafood stock
2 cups clam juice
4 table spoons tomato paste
half cup of dry vermouth
2 cups milk (not skim)
Half cup cream
4 table sp. pepper
2 table sp. salt (to taste)
2 table sp. olive oil

In a large, heavy bottom stock pot, heat oil and sautee leeks and garlic for three mins.

Add celery and potatoes simmering on low to med. heat for 5 mins.

Add stock,clam juice, tomato paste and vermouth raising heat to med-high. Stirring constantly. Simmer for 15 minutes. If you have a bay leaf throw one or two in at this point. As your soup begins to become aromatic, add some salt and pepper. If you like Old Bay seasoning, you might toss in a few shakes at this point.

Reduce heat to a simmer (making sure at this point NOT to allow the soup to boil). NO BOIL! But keep your heat consistent. Look for a simmering bubble around the edge of the pot.
Now it's time to add all fish items and the sweet corn, and milk.

Wait a few minutes. Taste the soup. Does it need salt? Pepper? More stock? Now it's your turn to be the chef, as I will not be there looking over your shoulder!

Finish the soup with 1/2 cup of cream. Stir in making sure you never boil the soup, as the milk will break and separate.

Ladle into bowls and garnish with fresh chives and black pepper. Serve with a simple green or Ceasar salad and warm popovers, crusty baguette, or cornbread!
Wine pairing: Dry French Chardonnay from the Macon, Alsatian Pinot Gris, a dry Vouvray, or cold beer in a frosty mug.

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