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Made a batch of fish chowder today. I love all chowders, especially New England style, the white version. Many chowder recipes call for bacon or fatback, and chicken stock. This version has neither ingredient, so fits within Lenten guidelines.

I have some striped bass in the freezer from a fishing trip in Connecticut a few years ago, and this is a great fish to use for chowder. It is firm and not oily.

Makes 2 servings

1 half pint heavy whipping cream
1-2 cups 2% milk
1 cup water
1/4 lb. firm white fish, cut into chunks, e.g. striped bass, walleye, halibut
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
2 medium potatoes, each the size of an orange, cubed
3-4 tbsp butter
1/2 tsp salt, to taste
1/4 tsp white pepper, to taste
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp thyme, to taste

Add onion and butter to stock pot. Sautee onions until caramelized. This can take around 20 minutes on low-medium heat, stirring often. Add cream, milk, water, potatoes, bay leaves, thyme, salt and white pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Allow to reduce roughly 20%. Adjust seasoning as needed.

Serve with bread, rolls, or crackers.

Notes:
- the starting point for seasonings is fairly mild. I like thyme, and used around 1 tbsp. I also used a bit more butter. Because this recipe does not have chicken stock or bacon, the body in the soup comes from the cream and butter, and from the slight reduction.

- this is best when made several hours before serving. The thyme blooms and the onions give up their essence to the soup. Good stuff!

Happy Lent to all!
 
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