Sunday, 11 January 2015

Seafood Chowder

I got back from Boston with a craving for MORE CHOWDER. I really should have a go at making a cob loaf to serve this in, but homemade breadmaker sourdough will have to suffice until the weather is cool enough to switch the oven on. This is also not as heart-attack-inducing as a proper Boston seafood chowder and can be eaten as lunch or dinner without pre-charging the defibrillator. If you want to up the ante, double the flour, reduce the stock to the absolute minimum that covers the vegetables, and top up with double the listed amount of the thickest cream you can find, just before serving. I can never make just enough for two so this (with bread) will do for four people.


  • 1 onion or leek
  • 100g lardons OR smoked fish
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 1 stick celery
  • 3 potatoes
  • a bay leaf
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 750ml litre chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 corn cobs, or a tin of sweet corn
  • 500g marinara mix (a mix of white fish, salmon, squid, peeled prawns, and mussels)
  • 200ml thickened or double cream
  • Salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • a bunch of fresh parsley

Peel or clean and finely chop the onion or leek. Fry in a deep pan in a little butter or olive oil until translucent and soft. If using the lardons, add at the same time as the onions, so they cook and turn golden. (Don't add smoked fish at this stage!) Meanwhile, dice the carrot, celery and potatoes (no need to peel them). Add the vegetables and the bay leaf to the cooked onions, stir in the flour, then pour over the stock; bring up to a simmer and then allow the vegetables to cook to just past al dente -- about 10-12 minutes. If you like your potato to be falling apart, cook a little longer. Slice the corn off the cob (or drain the tin) and add, along with the marinara mix, and the smoked fish if using. Bring back up to temperature and allow to cook through, a matter of minutes for the fish and the corn. (Be particularly careful not to boil any squid in the marinara mix for more than 30 seconds, or it will go tough!) Once the fish is cooked through, stir in the cream and bring back up to temperature, but do not allow the chowder to boil. Serve in a cob or in bowls, scattered over with finely chopped parsley.

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