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3/4 pound cod or halibut fillet
3/4 pound salmon fillet
1 pound king or snow crab legs
1 pound live hardshell clams
5 bacon slices - (to 6) -- cut 1/2" pieces
1 medium onion -- finely chopped
1 pound Russet or baking potatoes -- scrubbed, diced
Salt -- to taste
Freshly-ground black pepper -- to taste
2 cups frozen corn kernels -- thawed
3 cups fish stock or clam juice
3 cups half-and-half
2 tablespoon mixed chopped fresh herbs -- (optional)
Rinse the cod and salmon with cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Cut the fish into roughly 1 inch cubes. Break the crab legs into sections and lightly crack them, leaving them intact. Scrub the clam shells under cold water.
In a heavy soup pot, fry the bacon pieces, stirring occasionally, until they begin to curl and most of the fat is rendered, about 5 minutes.
Use a large spoon to remove and discard all but about 1 tablespoon of the fat. Add the onion, potatoes, salt and pepper to the pan and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent and the potatoes are beginning to soften, 8 to 10 minutes.
Add the fish stock and half-and-half, bring to a boil and simmer 10 minutes. Add the fish pieces, crab legs, clams and corn and continue simmering until the fish flakes easily, the clams are open and the potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes longer. Discard any clams that do not open.
If you like, stir in chopped fresh herbs just before serving. Pass a pepper mill at the table so each guest can top their chowder with freshly ground pepper.
This recipe yields 6 to 8 servings.