Winter Recipes Year Round Fish

Fish chowder

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Originating in North America, fish chowder is a wonderfully flavoursome stew, with all the ingredients to provide a meal in itself. The smoked bacon and haddock add a great depth, balanced with the sweetness of the sweetcorn and flavour-absorbing potatoes.

I use my largest Le Creuset pot to make this as the shellfish take up quite a lot of room when they open. And it looks great served from the cooking pot at the table. Eat it from enamel bowls with a cold glass of real ale.

Ingredients

Serves 6

  • 30g butter
  • 250g smoked bacon lardons
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 500g potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2 corn on the cob, kernels, or 1 tin (400g) sweetcorn
  • 300ml white wine
  • 300ml single cream
  • a small bunch of thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 250g smoked haddock fillet
  • 300g clams
  • 300g mussels
  • small bunch of flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  • First prepare the shellfish: throw away any shells that are open, broken or won’t close when you give them a sharp tap against the tabletop. Wash well in cold water, remove any ‘beard’ fibres from the mussels.
  • Melt the butter in a large, heavy based pan on a medium heat. Fry the lardons so they become browned and crisp.
  • Add the onions, carrots and celery and a good pinch of salt. Cook gently for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally so the vegetables soften without becoming too browned.
  • Add the potatoes and sweetcorn, season with more salt and stir well.
  • Pour over the wine and let it bubble and reduce by about half.
  • Add the cream, thyme and bay leaf, then top up with water just to cover. Partially cover with a lid and cook for 20-25 minutes, or until the potatoes become soft.
  • When the potatoes are soft, you are ready to add the fish. Put the haddock in first, followed by the shellfish.
  • Cover the pan and poach for 5-10 minutes or just until the clams and mussels open and the haddock pieces are cooked through. It won’t take long so keep and eye!
  • Taste for seasoning and then scatter with chopped parsley to serve, steaming in its cooking pot.

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