Location: SLO County
|Now that winter is here, some seafood chowder sounded good. This is like meatloaf, everybody has a little different way of making it and it still comes out good.
This is a reprint of an old recipe which lost the pictures and Iíve made some changes.
First thing I do is get my fish and cut it into small chunks and season with salt, pepper and Chef Paulís Poultry Magic or some Emrilís whichever is handy. I have used ling, rockish, cab and eel. All work good. Also I found a little shrimp in the freezer, diced and seasoned that also.
I diced up three pieces of bacon and started rendering it in a large pot. More bacon is not better, but that is up to you. If you canít eat bacon, try turkey bacon or leave it out. Traditionally chowder is made with salt pork, but I donít know anything about that.
Then I diced a half onion added it to the bacon with a little oil. I threw in a stalk of sliced celery. I sauted these together until they sweated down a bit. You donít want anything browned in this recipe.
Next, I diced up two yukon gold potatoes and threw them in with the bacon and veg for about five minutes. Sometimes I will cook the potatoes separate in a little chicken broth, but this way I have one less pan to clean. You can use any kind of potato.
I added a can of chicken broth and simmered about ten minutes covered. You donít want mashed potatoes. Donít overcook, Potatoes should be al dente.
Next I added a pint of half and half, some chopped parsley and thyme. Simmered this just until everything got warm and flavors melded. Stir the bottom of the pan gently to incorporate any cooked bits on the bottom. Thickening is optional. You can use a half teaspoon of cornstarch and chicken broth while on the heat or grate a small chunk of potato in while simmering.
When everything was warm, I added the fish and shrimp and mixed it in. When Mrs. Kittyfish wasnít looking, I dropped in two pats of butter and covered the pan. In two to three minutes the butter should melt. Then turn off the heat, cover and let it sit for 15 minutes. There is enough residule heat to cook the fish slowly. Traditionally, you let chowder sit for an hour which is called curing. After curing, check the temperature and see if you need to warm the chowder to serving temperature. If it needs to be hotter, warm it slowly at a low temperature. You donít want to overcook the fish. Same thing if you have leftovers. Warm it up slowly. Now that's chunky chowder, Frozendog style.
Chowder is ready, come and get it!
"Mrs. Kittyfish, we'll just drive up to one more point, it's just a couple miles further, and look at the rocks. No more, I promise"