Lighter Fish Chowder
I had the most amazing adventure on Sunday! I got to spend the whole day out on a boat fishing by Provincetown, Ma. It was so beautiful and relaxing. I also caught my first fish! I had to reel it in, which was actually quite difficult and a good workout. I was so proud of catching this fish I had to take it home and dream up some new recipes. I also had the good fortune to catch a bluefish, which is known for its feisty temper and dark, flavorful meat. I ended up preparing it in a couple of different ways, but decided to use some of the leftovers (there was so much) to make chowder.
Full disclosure: I don't eat chowder. I have never eaten chowder. I dislike the look, smell and taste of it. I understand as a New Englander this borderline blasphemous, but I just have never liked it. However, Craig LOVES chowder, and has been begging me to make some and put a Dara-style spin on it. This seemed like a good opportunity to create something light and flavorful with our fresh catch and get over my chowder-phobia.
I used bluefish, but you could also substitute any dark, fatty fish. Mackerel would be really good. I think a more fishy-fish sort of lends itself to chowder, so go with something a little stronger than cod. I also used some leftover corn we had from a cookout the previous night. Grilling corn really brings out the flavor and sweetness. Adding grilled corn to the chowder instead of boiled actually made a great difference in the taste. You could roast them as well for a similar result.
In order to lighten up this chowder, I only used a little bit of heavy cream and cut back on the potatoes. The rich flavor comes from the fish, the corn and some fresh herbs, especially chives. Add a ton of black pepper and you are good to go. This also reheats well if you want to bring leftovers for lunch.
So...I actually loved this chowder. I never thought in a million years I would like it but it was so light and flavorful. I am now a chowder convert!
Read more for the full recipe and photos.
1lb bluefish filet, cut into 1" chunks (can also substitute mackerel, mullet, haddock)
3 cooked ears of corn, cut from cobb (preferably grilled but boiled or roasted will also work)
1/2 lb red potatoes, washed and cut into 1" chunks
3 ribs of celery, washed and diced
1 medium onion, diced
12 oz fish stock (if you can't find it, you can use fish bullion)
6 oz light cream
1/4 lb uncured bacon, diced
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp fresh chives, chopped
2 tbsp thyme, chopped
1 bay leaf
Step by Step Instructions:
1. Saute onion and bacon in olive oil on medium heat 3-4 minutes
2. Add celery and saute another 2-3 minutes
3. Add fish chunks and lightly brown for 2 minutes
4. Remove fish from pot
5. Add corn, stir and saute on medium-low heat for 3 minutes
6. Add potatoes, cook an additional 2 minutes and stir thoroughly
7. Add stock, cream and herbs, simmer on med-low heat for 10 minutes covered
8. Add fish to chowder, and simmer, uncovered on low for another 10-12 minutes
9. Serve with lots of black pepper