sallye bates


I dreamed this recipe up based on a comment about using Bloody Mary mix in a dish. It's pretty bloody great. If you like Manhattan style chowder, you'll love this; heck, if you don't like Manhattan style chowder, you're going to love this.

Try it and see.


★★★★★ 1 vote

6-8 servings
20 Min
30 Min
Stove Top


  • 4 slice
    thickly sliced bacon
  • 2 Tbsp
  • 1 large
    sweet onion
  • 1 medium
    fennel bulb
  • 1 medium
    red or yellow bell pepper
  • 2 or 3 medium
    potatoes (golden yukon are great)
  • 2 sprigs
    fresh thyme
  • 1 large
    bay leaf
  • 1 to 1-1/2 c
    bloody mary mix
  • 1 or 2 c
    clam juice or fish stock
  • 1 can(s)
    (14 oz) hunts petite diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 c
    tequila (optional)
  • 2 tsp
    paprika (hungarian preferably)
  • 1 tsp
    dry mustard
  • 2 tsp
    sea salt
  • 2 tsp
    ground black pepper
  • 1/4 c
    instant potatoes (optional)
  • 1 c
  • 1 to 2 lb
    skinless firm white fish filets cod, grouper,whitefish, etc.



  1. Cut fish filets into bite size pieces and set aside
  2. Peel onion and cut into quarters, place in food processor

    Remove core, seeds and membranes from bell pepper, cut into quarters and add to food processor

    Peel, trim and core fennel bulb including fronds, cut into quarters and add to food processor

    Pulse food processor until all items are coarsely chopped. Don't over process - 4 or 5 pulses is usually enough, use your own judgement
  3. Wash and peel potatoes and cut into 1-1/2" cubed pieces. Set aside
  4. Cook bacon in a large heavy stewpot over medium heat until crisp.

    Remove bacon to paper towel but leave drippings in stewpot.

    Add butter to drippings and melt. When butter begins to bubble, transfer the vegetables from the food processor to the pot.
  5. Add thyme sprigs, bay leaf, salt and pepper. Cover and cook, stirring frequently until vegetables are soft but not brown. (5 to 10 minutes)
  6. Remove cover and add the potatoes. Replace the cover and cook until potatoes start to stick to the pan and brown (about 3 minutes),
  7. Stir in the paprika and mustard and cook for about one minute, just until fragrant.

    Add the bloody mary mix, tequila, tomatoes, and fish stock (or clam juice) and raise heat to medium high.

    Stir with wooden spoon to deglaze the bottom of pan. then add one cup of water and bring to a simmer.
  8. Crumble half of the bacon into the chowder mix and turn heat to low to just a simmer.

    Cook partially covered for about 10 minutes, then check the potatoes for tenderness.
  9. Season the fish chunks with salt and pepper and add to the chowder, making sure fish is submerged. Add more water or stock if necessary.
  10. Alternate Method: You can add the potatoes and fish at the same time if you are in a hurry.
  11. For thicker chowder, you can add 1/4 cup of instant potatoes (mixed with enough water to make a paste) to the chowder.
  12. Replace cover and simmer over low heat just until the fish is cooked (about 10 to 15 minutes)

    Test for doneness by mashing a piece with a fork. It should flake easily if it is done.
  13. Fish the thyme sprigs and bay leaf out of the chowder and discard.
  14. Serve with a garnish of crumbled bacon and cilantro or parsley sprigs (optional)
  15. A good way to serve is in a tureen, and let everyone help themselves.

    Great served with homemade French loaf or baguettes

Printable Recipe Card


Course/Dish: Fish
Main Ingredient: Fish
Regional Style: Southwestern
Dietary Needs: Diabetic Dairy Free

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