Two summers ago, on a foggy cool August afternoon, I had a bowl of heaven. A fish chowder so delicious that I wanted to grab the pot from the stove and hide it in a secret place so that every bit of it would be mine (I didn't, but it was so very tempting).
I asked for the recipe. Bad idea. Turns out, it's a secret family recipe and no one, but no one outside the family gets the goods (imagine a Portuguese Colonel Sanders and you'll get the drift).
So for almost two years, I've been googling fish chowder recipes, checking every cookbook that I own or can get my hands on, ordering fish chowder at any restaurant serving it, and experimenting with recipes. Nothing is ever as good. I started to think that it must have been a flawed memory.... my hunger and the cold tricked me into thinking the stuff was better than it was. It's just a bunch of potatoes and haddock in some milk, right?
Finally last week, I found a recipe over at Diana's Kitchen. (Thank you Diana!)
I added extra thyme, more pepper a bit more bay leaf, wine instead of water and poof. Heaven in a bowl.
Hearty Fish Chowder
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 2 medium carrots, cut in small dice
- 1 rib celery, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons butter, divided
- 1 pound frozen haddock fillets
- 2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
- 1 bay leaf (I added an extra half leaf)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon dried leaf thyme crumbled (I used quite a bit more)
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper (way, way more pepper)
- 1 cup dry white wine or water
- 2 cups milk
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley or 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon butter; add onions, carrots and celery, stirring and cooking until onion is tender. Add fish, potatoes, bay leaf, salt, thyme, pepper, and wine or water. Cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until fish is cooked. Break fish into chunks. Add milk and remaining 1 tablespoon butter; heat through. Discard bay leaf, sprinkle with parsley and serve.
Fish chowder recipe serves 4.