Chowder for February

One of the things I will always enjoy about newspapers is, invariably, the food section. In this weekends New York Times I came across an article titled “Such a Chowder” by Sam Sifton. Of course it’s nostalgic take on neighborhood traditions and culinary comfort had my attention in less than 20 seconds. A quick bit of searching and I found that chowder may be of French origin based on it’s connection to the word chaudière, a type of pot. Further, it may have a relative in casseroles. (Source WikiPedia).

Having just made the trip to my local market I had some of the items required for Sifton’s recipe from the shop he wrote about called Russ & Daughters. Following is my adaptation of the recipe based on what I had available and the results. I liked one of the ideas from a few sources about chowder being a seafood and vegetable stew made from what is available and fresh. Martha Stewart has a recipe that looks off the charts but I’ll save that for later.

1+ tbsp. unsalted butter
1+ tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/4 of a large sweet yellow onion chopped
1 clove of garlic crushed and minced
1 cup of baby carrots chopped into disks
2 stalks of celery trimmed and diced
2 large russet potato’s peeled and cubed into squares
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup Chardonnay
1 1/2 cups fresh chicken stock
(sadly I had no bay leaf)
1 3/4 cups of skim milk (substitute for whole milk)
1 cup of heavy cream
1 big fresh caught salmon fillet, poach ahead of time in wine then flake into pieces
Ground black pepper
Kosher salt

1. Melt butter with the olive oil in a large Dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat.
2. Add onion, carrot, celery and cook until vegetables softened (5-10 minutes).
3. Add garlic, potato, parsley and thyme (2-3 minutes)
4. Sprinkle flour over mix not allowing it to scorch on the bottom of the pot. Stir regularly (5 minutes).
5. Add wine, chicken stock pepper and salt then simmer (10 minutes).
6. Stir in milk and cream and previously poached salmon simmer but don’t boil (25 minutes).
I did add 1/2 tsp of anchovy paste for fun.

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