Halibut Chowder– serves 6
- 3 slices thick sliced smoked bacon (double smoked if available)- cubed
- 2 medium shallots- minced
- 2 cloves garlic- finely minced
- 1 medium carrot- peeled and minced
- 1 stalk celery- minced
- 1 leek- white and part of green part- minced
- 3 T flour
- 1 c dry white wine
- 1 c fish stock blended with 1 c water
- 2 c cream/whole milk mixture- 1 c cream to 1 part whole milk is ideal
- 1/2- 3/4 pound red potatoes- scrubbed and diced with skin on
- 1 1/2 c frozen corn- thawed
- 1 bay leaf, 4-5 springs thyme, and 4 stems flat leaf parsley wrapped in leek skin and tied with twine- or can add loose to chowder
- 3/4 pound halibut fillets- skinned and trimmed- cut into 1/2-3/4 inch cubes.
- Salt and pepper
- Chives as garnish if desired
In heavy stockpot over medium heat, cook the bacon cubes until the fat is rendered but try not to crisp the bacon. Add the shallot and cook for 2-3 minutes until translucent. Then add the garlic, carrots, and celery and stir until softened- about 4-5 minutes. Next add the leek and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
Stir in the flour and cook for about two minutes being careful not to let the flour brown. Pour in the wine and bring to a boil, stirring to combine. You want the alcohol to cook off somewhat, so stir and cook for about 2 minutes. Then add the fish stock/ water mixture, herb bouquet or loose herbs, potatoes, and corn. Taste for salt and season with salt and pepper as needed. Reduce to a simmer, cover and let cook 15 minutes or so until the potatoes are cooked but not mushy, adding water if needed. (You can make the chowder up to this point earlier in the day or even a day prior. Keep refrigerated until time to finish the dish. Bring back to simmer before continuing).
Add the cream and milk mixture and heat until simmering. Remove the herb bundle or loose herbs. Add the cubed halibut, simmer for 2 minutes and then serve immediately. Can garnish with chopped chives or parsley.
Note: You can modify the sofrito to what you have available- can use a medium onion in place of the shallot and leek, or can also use chopped red pepper.