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Friday, 23 February 2018

Seafood Chowder

Many people ask me what is a chowder -

quite simply it is a thick soup made with seafood or corn and often thickened using potatoes.  The recipe I am sharing with you uses flour as the thickening agent but I intend in a later post to show the same recipe using potato.

The key to a good chowder is in the stock.  I always make a good fish stock to use as the base for this - my fish stock recipe can be found here

More often than not I am making my seafood chowder for use in the restaurant so I tend to make a base and then finish the dish when it is ordered.  From my point of view if I put all the seafood in and then served the chowder some time later I will be re-heating and then over cooking the seafood.

So, to make the base.

1) Finely chop an onion and a couple of cloves of garlic

2) In a saucepan gently melt 50g of butter with the onion and garlic then stir in 50g flour to make a roux

3) Add your fish stock a little at a time mixing it well with the roux.  As the stock heats with the roux it will thicken.  Keep adding stock until you get a nice rich creamy texture.  Season this soup base well with salt and pepper.

4) You can keep this soup base in the fridge for upto 3 days or we can carry on and make the chowder

Now make the chowder

1) using either fresh or frozen seafood - I normally use both, fresh mussels and some mixed frozen seafood - start cooking it in a pan with some butter.  As the mussels start to open add a tablespoon of brandy and flame it over the heat.
2) remove the seafood from the pan leaving as much of the juices and brandy as possible and ladle in your chowder base

3) bring to the boil and add a good measure of double cream

4) add the seafood back to the pan, check the seasoning and serve with some nice warm crusty bread