Well actually, that’s not true. How many of you realized that if your fish smells fishy, it’s old? It may still be perfectly edible but it’s certainly not fresh. Just thought I’d throw that tidbit out there. If fish smells fishy, buy different fish.
I love fish. Unfortunately we don’t eat it as often as my taste buds or my health would like. it’s one of those foods that is so good for you but is also usually so darn expensive! Especially when you live in a landlocked state. But buying enough fish to feed 5 people, two of whom are walking teenage stomachs, is pricey. So periodically I will buy some on sale, then wait for another sale and so on until I have enough for a meal. Takes a while, but it works 😀
Then there are times when I find some on sale and use it in a dish that stretches it. Might not be quite the same as a tasty fillet of baked or fried fish, but if you have the right recipe, it can still be fantastic. The dinner we had today fell into the fantastic category. I had bought some inexpensive smoked salmon after Christmas (I think the store had it for the holidays, didn’t sell it, then wanted it gone) and also had a pack of salmon in the freezer waiting for me to figure out what to do with it. So I made chowder. What’s better for a limited amount fo fish than a thick hearty chowder? I did myself proud on this one. The first words out of my husbands mouth were “this is some good sh**!”. Might not be great language but he made his point lol 😛 This is thick and filled with salmon, potatoes, onion, herbs, spices and bacon with a smooth velvety texture from the addition of heavy cream, milk and mascarpone cheese. So hearty, so comforting and so perfect for a cold Winter night. Don’t let the long ingredient list throw you off. It’s quickly put together.
Smoked Salmon Chowder
- 1/2 pound smoked salmon, cut into chunks
- 3/4 pound fresh salmon
- 10 slices of bacon, cooked until crisp and crumbled (reserve bacon drippings)
- 2 small onions, chopped
- 5 medium potatoes, cut into bite sized chunk (peeled or not is up to you; I didn’t cause I like the added nutrition of the peels)
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 2 cups milk
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons dried dill weed
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 4 ounces mascarpone cheese
- zest from one medium lemon
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- In a medium sauce pot, pour 3 tablespoons of the bacon drippings. Add the chopped onions and saute until the onions are soft and limp.
- Add your fresh salmon to the pan and cook just until the salmon is firm so that you can easily cut it into chunks. Cut into chunks and set aside to cool.
- Add the potatoes to the pot. Cover with a scant 2 cups of water. Cover and cook over medium heat until the potatoes are just tender. Add more water if you need to, but just enough to keep the potatoes from burning. You want the bulk of the liquid to be absorbed by the time the potatoes are cooked.
- When potatoes are barely tender, add the salmon (both kinds), milk, cream, garlic powder, dill and salt and pepper (taste before serving to see if it needs more salt).
- Turn heat to low and simmer (do NOT boil. Letting a cream based soup boil can cause it to curdle) for about 15 minutes or until the potatoes are totally tender.
- Add in the mascarpone cheese, butter, half the crumbled bacon, lemon zest and lemon juice. Stir over low heat until the mascarpone is melted and incorporated into the soup.
- Pour into soup bowls and garnish with the extra crumbled bacon.