Sunday, October 14, 2007

Haddock Chowder - Homegrown Gourmet Round 2

It's back! Homegrown Gourmet, the cooking challenge that features local ingredients, cuisine, and creative incorporating, is onto round 2.

This round we've been instructed by Meg to feature a soup, in honor of autumn. Up here in Maine, I considered Lobster Bisque, but I just couldn't bring myself to spend the money on lobster, fish the meat out, and then make something horribly unhealthy with it. (Because we would have eaten it all and then felt like fat bastards!)

Instead I went traditional with a Haddock Chowder. Chowders here up in the northeast aren't necessarily thick and are always focused on simple flavors and combinations. I kept it basic and was very please with the results. Just some fresh fish, potatoes, onion, and liquids and we had a hearty, warm meal for a 40 degree night.

Perfect for watching the Sox and enjoying the wood smoke in the air.

Traditional New England Haddock Chowder
  • 1 1/2 lbs. Fresh Haddock fillets
  • 1 Small Onion, unpeeled and whole
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 3 C. Water
  • 2 Tbsp. Salt Pork, diced (Can be substituted with thick cut bacon or pancetta)
  • 2 Potatoes, skinned and cubed (I should have used Maine potatoes, but they only came in 5 lbs. bags and we don't eat that many spuds. Sorry, home state!)
  • 1 Large Onion, chopped
  • 2 C. Milk
  • 1 Tbsp. Butter
  • 2/3 C. Heavy Cream
  • Salt, Pepper, & Thyme to taste

  1. In a large skillet pan with a lid, bring the water to a boil with bay leaf and onion in it. Let simmer for 5 minutes.
  2. Add in fish fillets and cook until just about done. Strain out the water, reserving for the soup. Throw out whole onion and bay leaf.
  3. In the meantime, cook the salt pork in a large stockpot over medium heat. Stir occasionally so meat does not burn to the dry pan. Additionally, some of the fish water can be drizzled in to keep the meat from sticking too much. The meat will brown the bottom of the pan, which will later add flavor to the soup.
  4. Add in the onion and cook until just translucent.
  5. Pour in reserved cooking water from the haddock, increasing heat to medium high. Bring water to a boil and add in the potatoes, cooking until tender.
  6. Stir in haddock, breaking up the fish into large pieces in the pot.
  7. Reduce heat to medium. Stir in the milk, cream, and butter until the butter melts and broth is well heated through.
  8. Taste the broth. Add salt, pepper, and thyme to your desired taste. Note- the thyme flavor should be used very sparingly as the fish and potato flavor should dominate the soup.
  9. Serve with a crusty bread while good and hot! A-yup.

1 comment:

Meg's Adventures in the Kitchen said...

this looks great! I need to get my butt in gear on this and make my entry too!