Archive for 16 March 2007

Weekend Project #1: Chowder

I was supposed to fiddle at a dance tonight, but ended up having a much-needed evening at home instead. Thank goodness for New England weather and the occasional snow emergency.

I got my laundry done (which means I can sleep in a little tomorrow morning), listened to a couple of episodes of a hilarious Swedish radio program whose podcast I just discovered and watched an episode of Law & Order: SVU, my new vice. (L&O and its various spin-offs are the British Empire of cable syndication: the sun never sets on them. I can almost always find at least one episode on some channel or other.)

What I really wanted to do, though, was cook soup. (I can’t really think of a better way to spend a snowy evening. Well, maybe curling up in bed with an escapist paperback novel and a cup of cocoa.) Unfortunately, I didn’t have all the ingredients I needed, and I wasn’t going out in a nor’easter just to buy potatoes. So the chowder will just have to wait until tomorrow when it stops sleeting.

I’ll be cooking up my favorite chowder recipe, one I came up with when I decided that the bacon and codfish I usually use for fish chowder could be replaced with smoked haddock.

The version below is the slightly lower-fat version I usually cook. For a truly low-fat version, you could substitute margarine of some sort for butter and replace the half-and-half with another 1/2 cup of low-fat milk. For a damn-the-cholesterol-full-speed-ahead version, use whole milk and heavy cream. (Don’t replace all the milk with cream, though. Chowder should manage to be both creamy and light.)

Smoked Haddock Chowder

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium leek, white and light green parts only, well washed and finely chopped
  • 1 medium large potato, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1/4 pound smoked haddock, any skin and bones removed
  • 1 cup water or mild stock (preferably fish stock)
  • 1/2 cup low-fat milk
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. In a large saucepan, heat the butter until it sizzles. Add the leeks and sauté until soft and shiny.
  2. Add the potatoes, the haddock, the milk and the water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are tender.
  3. Flake apart any large chunks of fish. Add the half-and-half and bring back to a simmer.
  4. Season to taste and serve immediately.

Serves: 2 (or one with leftovers for another day)

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16 March 2007 at 23:26 2 comments


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