Fish Chowder Recipe?
With it finally starting to get cold, I've been craving a good fish chowder. But I really have no idea how to make one. Does anyone have a recipe or any thoughts on this? The catch is that it can't have any shellfish or pork. I'd especially love a New England-style recipe, with the cream and potatoes.
I grew up on the coast of Maine. Here is the way we do it there (nonchef manipulated, simple, and just as good).
Render salt pork in the pot and remove when browned.
Fry chopped onions in rendered fat until soft and slightly browned. (you can add a little butter at either point to help things along).
add small diced potatos, whole milk (some people use some evaported milk or some cream in different proportions), a couple bay leaves, salt & pepper and the fried pork if you want (take off the rind before frying). - I like a little fresh thyme, but that's not that way its usually done.
Cook at medium or so, watching it doesn't burn until the potatos are almost done and add haddock or cod. Cook for a minute ot two longer and then cover take off the heat to rest and cure for an hour or so (this is important).
When ready to serve, heat thru making sure fish is cooked and flaking. Some poeple melt butter into it to make it more rich.
1C of onions
1C of butter/margarine
2 T of flour
2 C cooked potatoes
1 cup of chopped celery
4 cups of milk (see below)
Saute onions and celery in butter until cooked through. Add 2 tablespoons of flour. and cook stirring continously making a rouxe, add four cups of milk or light cream, personal preference. Trying to cut down on fat then use lowfat milk. I also use fat free half and half which adds to the richness, but reduces the fat.
Add the cooked, chopped, potatoes.
I use a little garlic powder, celery powder and pepper then add a couple of handfulls of fish, usually haddock. Simmer through until fish is done. Cook on low stirring frequently.
I normally use salt pork also, but butter/margarine will work. A little different flavor that's all.
Jasper's great. But his recipe allows a shortcut around using the fish frames for the broth, which I think is important. It's also very rich with heavy cream, which can obscure the flavor of fish broth (it's probably why he can allow the shortcuts, because with all that heavy cream it doesn't matter as much).
Another classic approach can be found courtesy of Sara Moulton's dad, it seems. This is leaner (half-and-half) and uses the fish frames for the broth. Like Jasper's, though, it eschews the roux or binders that restaurant chowders use as a crutch. Fish chowder, even more than clam chowder, should not be thick with binder.