We got a couple loads of firewood delivered last week, just in time for a round of cold, windy weather. I snagged an armload of wood as it was being stacked so we could get a fire started. Naturally my meal planning ideas turn to soups and stews, and searching the pantry and freezer for ingredients led me to fish chowder. There’s really no good reason to buy the canned stuff when it’s simple to make and far superior.
One of our favorite meals here is clam linguine (future blog, I promise), and while I wish it could always be made with fresh clams, we’re landlocked here so we make do with canned. Besides bottled clam juice and seafood stock, the other ingredients are ones that are always on hand – frozen fish fillets, potatoes, onions, celery, milk, bacon, spices. Use a flaky white fish such as cod. You can use whatever potatoes you have on hand, red or white, and either whole milk or canned evaporated milk.
– Joan, 17 November 2017
- 6 slices bacon
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 stalks celery, sliced
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 quart seafood stock
- ¾-1 pound potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch dice
- 2 6½-ounce cans chopped or minced clams, with liquid
- ½-1 teaspoon dried thyme, or 3 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 12-ounce can evaporated milk, or 1½ cups whole milk
- 1 pound skinless fish fillets, cut into chunks
- salt and pepper to taste
Fry bacon until crisp in a heavy Dutch oven. Set aside and remove all but 2 tablespoons of fat. Sauté onions and celery until softened. Stir in paprika, then add the seafood stock, liquid from the clams, and potatoes. Bring to a simmer and cook till potatoes are cooked through, about 25 minutes. While the potatoes are cooking, chop or crumble the bacon. Use an immersion blender to blend about half of the potatoes, onions and celery in the stock. Add the milk and thyme and bring to a very low simmer, then put in the fish and simmer about 5 minutes, till fish is flaky and opaque. Stir in the clams and most of the chopped bacon, salt and pepper to taste. Top each serving with some of the reserved bacon.