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Fish Chowder with Herbed Oyster Crackers

4 sl Bacon; chopped
1 sm Onion; chopped fine
1 Carrot; chopped fine
1 Celery rib; chopped fine
1 tb Unsalted butter
2 ts Allpurpose flour
1/2 ts Paprika
8 oz Bottled clam juice
1 c Water
1/2 c Heavy cream
1 Russet; (baking) potato (about 1/2 pound)
3/4 lb Firm white fish fillet such as halibut or; skin discarded, cod, flesh cut into 1inch pieces
2 tb Minced fresh parsley leaves

To make the fish chowder:

In a heavy saucepan cook bacon over moderate heat, stirring, until crisp and transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain. Pour off fat and in pan cook onion, carrot, and celery in butter over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened.

Sprinkle flour over mixture and cook, stirring, 3 minutes. Stir in paprika and cook, stirring, 30 seconds. Add clam juice, water, and cream and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.

While mixture is coming to a boil, peel potato and cut into 1/4inch dice. Add potato to mixture and simmer chowder, uncovered, 12 minutes. Stir in fish and simmer until just cooked through, about 5 minutes. Stir in parsley, bacon, and salt and pepper.

Serve chowder with herbed oyster crackers.

Yield: 2 servings

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