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Creamy Fish Chowder

To clean a leek efficiently, trim the root end, cut the leek to the desired length and then halve the leek lengthwise. Hold each half under cold running water, carefully pulling the layers open to wash away any dirt. Place in a colander or on a kitchen towel to drain briefly.

Ingredients:

  • 2 thick-cut bacon slices, chopped
  • 1 leek, halved, rinsed and sliced
  • 1 large russet potato, peeled and cut into small
      cubes
  • 1 1/2 cups fish stock or water
  • 1/2 tsp. salt, plus more, to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 lb. cod or other firm white-fleshed fish fillets,
      pin bones removed and fillets cut into bite-size
      pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups milk

Directions:

In a Dutch oven or saucepan over medium-low heat, cook the bacon, stirring occasionally, until it renders most of its fat but is not crisp, about 4 minutes. Add the leek and potato and cook, stirring frequently, until the leek softens, 6 to 8 minutes. (Adjust the heat as needed so the vegetables do not brown or stick.)

Add the stock, the 1/2 tsp. salt and a pinch of pepper to the pan and bring just to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until the potato is tender, about 20 minutes.

Season the fish lightly with salt and pepper. Add the fish and milk to the pan and cook, uncovered, over medium-low heat until the fish easily flakes apart, about 10 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper. Ladle the chowder into bowls and serve immediately. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, Seafood, by Jay Harlow (Oxmoor House, 2007).