Tuesday, April 27, 2010

food for thought - fish and chat potato chowder

You can probably tell by now that I LOVE soups. This one is my other favourite. My husband loves seafood but I don't cook a lot of fish at home. I'm just not that confident with it. Then I came across this recipe about a year ago and thought I'd give it a try. It is, without a doubt, absolutely beautiful. When you make it, just make sure that the vegetables at the beginning have been sweated down enough so that they are lovely and soft, otherwise you will crunch your way through the soup and it just wont taste as amazing. This soup is meant to melt in your mouth with the beautiful fresh fish,a dash of cream and yummy bacon and potatoes.....mmmmmmmmmmmm

The list of stuff:
olive oil
250g smoked speck, pancetta or bacon, chopped finely (I've only ever cooked this with bacon and it is very yummy)
1 brown onion, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
1 baby fennel bulb, trimmed (fronds reserved) and finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 and 1/2 tabelspoons plain flour
1 cup dry white wine
8 baby chat potatoes, each cut into 8 pieces
2 and 1/2 cups milk
1 bay leaf
500g skin removed, bones and bloodlines removed of Blue eye, chopped into chunks
1/2 cup pouring cream or single cream
2 tablespoons roughly chopped parsley

Heat oil in a large heavy based saucepan over medium heat. Cook bacon for 3-4 minutes until starting to brown. Reduce heat to low and add onion, celery, fennel and garlic, cook stirring for 4-5 mins or until vegies are soft. Add flour and stir until well combined. Pour in wine and bring to the boil then simmer over med heat for 3 mins or until liquid has reduced by half. Add the potatoes, milk and bay leaf and simmer rapidly for 12 mins over med-high heat. Stir in the fish and cream and simmer for a further 5 mins or until fish is cooked through. (make sure the fish isn't overcooked either or else it will taste like rubber) Season to taste then ladle into serving bowls and top with chopped parsley and reserved fronds. Enjoy!

Have everything chopped and ready to go, except for the fish, you can prepare this during the 12 min time frame.

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