Soup from the sea January 27, 2012Posted by Peeps in Cook's Illustrated, Cooking, Food, random stuff, soupe du semaine.
Okay, last week I told you about a recipe we did that we found in Cook’s Country. This week, it’s one from the parent magazine, Cook’s Illustrated.
They had a one page article on fish chowder. They wanted to get a fresher, cleaner flavor from the 18th century classic and it looked not only really good, but very easy as well. And since Cook’s Illustrated is seldom easy, we decided to give it a try.
You start by melting two tablespoons of butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add to that two small diced onions, 4 ounces of salt pork cut into two pieces, one and a half teaspoons of fresh thyme, one bay leaf and three quarters of a teaspoon of salt.
Cook, stirring, until the onions are soft, but not brown. That should take about five minutes. Then add five cups of water and bring to a simmer.
Once the water is simmering, turn the heat off and add two pounds of cod fillets or other flaky white fish that has been cut into six roughly equal pieces. We used Alaskan whitefish that we got on sale.
Cover the pan and let the it stand until the fish is almost cooked through, about five minutes.
Remove the fish with a spatula and place in a bowl. Bring the pan back on the heat and add one and a half pounds of Yukon Gold potates that have been peeled and cut into a half inch dice.
Simmer potatoes until they’re tender, about twenty minutes.
While the potatoes are cooking, in a small bowl or large mixing cup, whisk together 2 cups of milk, one tablespoon of cornstarch and half a teaspoon of pepper.
Once the potatoes are done, add the milk mixture to the pot and bring back to a simmer. The add the fish along with any juices the fish gave off back into the pot.
Cover the pot and remove from heat and let stand for five minutes. Then remove the bay leaf and the salt pork from the pot and gently stir to break the fish into smaller pieces. Season to taste and serve with oyster crackers.
Start to finish, this took about an hour. And it was wonderful! It had a very clean, fresh flavor and the taste of the fish was not hidden at all. And since the recipe makes a bunch of soup, we were glad to find out that it reheats beautifully.
Even if you’re not a huge fan of fish, like my wife, this is well worth making. You might want to divide the recipe by half if you have a small household, or don’t want to be eating the leftovers for a few days. But definitely, give it a try. It’s worth an hour of your time.