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New England Seafood Chowder

8 bacon slices -- chopped
2 large onions -- chopped
1 tablespoon curry powder
4 bottles clam juice - (8 oz ea)
4 cups peeled white potatoes in 1/2" dice -- (abt 3 lbs)
4 cups peeled butternut squash in 1/2" dice -- (abt 3 lbs)
2 bay leaves
4 cups chopped kale leaves
5 cups milk
1 cup half-and-half
2 tablespoons minced fresh thyme (or 2 tspns dried thyme, crumbled)
3 pounds mixed fresh fish -- cut 3/4" pieces (a choice of cod, halibut, haddock and/or scrod)
Salt -- to taste
Freshly-ground black pepper -- to taste

To render fat, cook chopped bacon in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat 5 minutes. Add chopped onions and saute until onions are translucent, about 8 minutes.

Add curry powder and stir 30 seconds. Mix in bottled clam juice, diced potatoes, diced butternut squash and bay leaves. Simmer 5 minutes.

Add chopped kale leaves and simmer until vegetables are almost tender, about 10 minutes. Add 5 cups milk, 1 cup half-and-half and minced thyme. (Chowder can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover tightly and refrigerate.)

Bring chowder to simmer. Add fish and simmer until cooked through, about 3 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Discard bay leaves. Ladle chowder into bowls and serve.

This recipe yields 8 servings.

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