Seafood Chowder

Seafood Chowder

Seafood Chowder

 

Lately, the weather here on the west coast has been nothing short of spectacular. So nice, in fact, that my azalea bush has started blooming in my front yard. We’ve been extremely spoiled weather wise, especially given that the rest of the country has been blanketed with freezing temperatures and snow. All the nice weather has got me dreaming of summer. When I think of summertime food, I immediately begin to think of all the things I want to make for dinner when we go to our cabin. Meal planning for the cabin is an exciting event for me (Yes, I just used meal planning and exciting in the same sentence. I’m a bit of a food geek, what can I say?) There are a couple reasons I find it exciting: One is that I have a lot of time to cook when I’m there, so my recipes don’t need to conform to any time restraints, but also, we tend to treat ourselves a bit more when we go to the cabin with pricier cuts of meat and always a lot of seafood. Chowder is a mainstay every year, although I switch up what seafood I use once in awhile. With the beautiful weather and summertime dreams I thought it was the perfect opportunity to whip up a batch of chowder for a small family gathering we were having.

Usually when I make this recipe I start out by frying up some bacon, but last week I left it out because we had a pescetarian in our midst. For that reason I’ve listed the bacon as an optional ingredient. It’s delicious either way, but the bacon does add a little bit of extra flavour, so that would be my preference. Whichever way you choose, I hope you enjoy it.

5 strips of bacon (optional)

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (if not using bacon)

1 large onion, diced

4 stalks of celery, diced

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 Cup dry white wine

1/4 Cup flour

1 tbsp thyme

2 bay leaves

3 Cups vegetable stock

6 Cups whole milk

1 russet potatoe, grated (or diced)

1 lbs cod or other white fish, cut into bite size pieces

1 lbs scallops

1 lbs shrimp

1/2 Cup fresh dill

salt and pepper to taste

Slice the bacon into 1/2″ pieces. In a stock pot, cook the bacon until crisp. Remove from the pot, leaving about 2 tbsp of the rendered fat to cook the vegetables in. If you are not using bacon begin by heating the olive oil in a stock pot over medium heat.

Add the onion, celery and garlic and saute for a few minutes until just beginning to sweat. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute, then stir in the wine. Cook for about 5 minutes to evaporate some of the wine then add in the thyme, bay, potatoes and stock, followed quickly by the milk. Bring the soup to a simmer and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes. Add in the seafood and bacon and cook for a few minutes longer until the seafood is cooked through. Stir in the dill right before serving. Serves 6 – 8 generous helpings.

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22 Comments

  1. Jeff says:

    Chowder without the Pork Product just sounds Wrong;
    In fact, It strikes me that Chowder with Floating Bacon Wrapped Scallops would be the ultimate extension of this train of thought……
    Bacon and Butter just always make everything Better !!!!

  2. I have not had a good seafood chowder in a long time. Never made it either. Lucky you living where it’s warm as it sure is cold and wintery here in Michigan. Thanks for sharing your delicious chowder and Happy Fiesta Friday #56 🙂

  3. Lucky you being in the warmth. Me too but I do feel with all the others being in the freezing cold.
    I love anything seafood. Therefor, this chowder sounds perfect for me. And how could you ever go wrong with bacon?
    I’m so bad at planning meals. sometime I try it but I keep failing. Hence, I always drop by the supermarket on my way home from work in order to buy everything I need for dinner. 🙂
    Happy Fiesta Friday

  4. Pingback: Fiesta Friday #56 | The Novice Gardener

  5. Ginger says:

    I’m the same with the bacon – it makes all the difference and is one of the main reasons why I’ll never become a vegetarian. Unless there’s such a thing as a prosciuttarian?

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