seafood chowder

★★★★★ 2 Reviews
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By Bonnie Beck
from Route 66, AZ

Years ago when I worked under a chef. The chef said, "WE waste NOTHING in this resturant!" True to his words, we quickly learned to wasted nothing. From him I learned to do ice sculptures, tallow sculptures, vegetable flowers and use my brain with any leftovers or an item one would normally throw away without thinking. Such as carrot tops and onion skins. I remember he barked an order at me, "Bonnie, think of something different for Friday's Special!" "And I want it so good it will sell out!" This is the recipe I came up with.

★★★★★ 2 Reviews
serves 8
prep time 1 Hr
cook time 2 Hr

Ingredients For seafood chowder

  • for the fish stock
  • 2 lb
    fish heads, skin, bones, tails,
  • 1
    garlic clove smashed
  • 1 md
    onion chopped coarsely
  • juice of one small lemon (now don't be throwing the lemon away..grate the lemon peel off and save it.)
  • 1/2 c
    good white dry wine, plus 4 cups of water
  • cheese cloth..or if you can find them a cheese cloth bags or a stuffing bag
  • 1 sm
    sprig of fresh tarragon or english thyme (optional)
  • 3 Tbsp
  • 1 lg
    carrot chopped
  • 1
    celery stock broken into large pieces with the leaves
  • 2
    some fresh parsley with stem and leaves
  • 4
    baked pototes baked..peeled (save those peels) and cubed
  • 1 lb
    each of fish, halibut, salmon, cod, snapper, haddock
  • 1 lg
    onion chopped very fine
  • 3 lg
    shallots chopped fine
  • 1 lb
    salt pork chopped fine without the rind, (don't throw the rind away)
  • 1 lb
    thick deli bacon chopped, browned and drained (don't throw the bacon fat out)
  • 2 lg
    garlic cloves chopped fine
  • 3
    celery stocks chopped fine
  • 2 lg
    carrots chopped fine
  • 1 qt
    heavy cream
  • 1 qt
    half and half
  • 4 lb
    flaked fresh cooked crab meat or frozen
  • 2 lb
    chopped cooked lobster
  • 3 lb
    popcorn shrimp or small shrimp
  • flour and butter to make a roux (they are always equal amounts)
  • freshly ground white pepper to taste
  • sea salt to taste
  • whole milk to thin if chowder gets too thick

How To Make seafood chowder

  • 1
    This first thing you need to make is a good fish stock. Or you can use fish stock cubes if you can find them. Smart and Final use to carry a fish stock paste..but I haven't seen it in years.
  • 2
    Take a cheese cloth bag and place the fish heads, tails and bones with the salt pork rind you have saved, carrots, celery, onion, garlic, parsley, and tarragon or the English thyme into the bag. Tie the bag closed tightly.
  • 3
    Add the bag to 4 cups of water with 2 Tablespoons of butter, lemon juice and wine. Simmer and skim for about an hour. Remove the bag and reduce to 1 1/2 cups of fish broth. Strain the broth through cheese cloth to catch any bones. Or you can use a coffee filter placed in a colander or wire strainer.
  • 4
    While the fish stock is reducing you are going to start making the soup base.
  • 5
    In 2 cups of water to poach the fish in. Strain. drain and add the poaching water to the fish stock while it is reducing. Flake the fish and set aside in the icebox.
  • 6
    Brown the bacon in your soup pan remove and set aside. Drain some of the bacon fat off and reserve. Brown the salt pork and set aside with the bacon. Saute the onions, garlic and shallots in the bacon fat. Place all back into the soup pan. Add a little flour to thicken and make a roux.
  • 7
    Add the poached fish stock, add the garlic, celery and carrot and cook till they are tender. Then add the crab, lobster, poached fish and the shrimp. Set aside to cool. Now add the cream and half and half. Add pepper and salt to taste. Optional: Add some Tarragon leaves. Add the potatoes. Heat slowly
  • 8
    Make a roux of 1 cup butter and 1 cup flour. I like using a Blonde Roux. Add as much roux as you need and stir to make a medium thick chowder. Don't worry if it gets too thick you can always thin it with milk. Serve hot in bread bowls or with warm fresh rolls.
  • 9
    Now I am going to tell you what to do with the tops of the onions and skins you cut away when you cut the tops of the onions off. Place the tops in a freezer bag. when you have enough, simmer them in water to make a onion stock. The skins brown or purple you saved in a small paper boil those to make colored water to do Easter Eggs in.
  • 10
    Oops...forgot. Those potato skins you save..crisp them in a little butter or some of the bacon fat. Crumble them and serve them on top of Chowder. Another oops...forgot to mention crumble the bacon and add it to the chowder.