Sunday, August 3, 2014

Creamy Chowder with Halibut & Corn

For some reason, I love soups in the summer.  Whether it's the refreshing chilled gazpacho I posted last week or eating pho at a neighborhood Vietnamese place, there's just something I find comforting about making a light soup the center of a meal.  So when I found a packet of halibut in the back of our freezer from our Alaska vacation last summer, I knew a chowder was in order.

This recipe uses what we have on hand from our CSA, which includes TONS of scallions, a bit of sweet corn (it won't be until later this month that we see a lot of it), carrots, and potatoes.  Speaking of scallions, if anyone has any recipes to use up the mountains of them I get from week to week, I'd love to hear about them!

Summer Fish & Corn Chowder
Serves 4-6 as a light dinner
Click here to view a printable recipe

4 1/2 c. water
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 - 2 lbs. halibut or other firm white fish
2 T. bacon drippings or butter
1/2 c. dry white wine
3 c. cubed potatoes (I left mine unpeeled because I like the skin)
1 medium carrot, cut into 1/2" dice
1 1/2 c. corn kernals (use frozen if you don't have fresh)
1 t. dried thyme
8 scallions, thinly sliced, white and green parts divided.
1 c. half-and-half
3 c. milk
Salt & Pepper

Add water and bay leaves to a large sauce pot and bring to a bare simmer.  Add halibut and poach for 10-12 minutes, or until fish is just cooked through.  Remove the fish to a plate and pour 2 1/2 c. of the cooking water into a measuring glass along with the bay leaves; the remaining cooking water can be discarded.

Melt the bacon drippings (or butter) in the sauce pot.  Add the potato, carrot, corn, white part of the scallions, and white wine and cook over medium heat until the wine has nearly evaporated.  Add the reserved cooking water, bay leaves, corn, and thyme, and simmer for 10 minutes.  Add the milk and half-and-half, and continue at a simmer (do not boil) until potatoes are tender, 10-15 minutes more.

While broth is simmering, flake fish into spoon-sized pieces.  When potatoes are tender, add fish and any juice that's collected onto the plate back to the sauce pot.  Heat until fish are just cooked through - add scallions greens and serve hot with fresh crusty bread.

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