Years ago, when my family had a small manufacturing company, my dad would make a fish chowder for the Christmas party. Once he made it, that was it, I don’t think he was allowed to make anything else. His dish was guaranteed to disappear. I found his recipe that he used because I wanted to make a treat for my visiting in-laws.
Of course I couldn’t leave it alone! I had to make it my own. Good thing my dad is used to these kind of shenanigans. It doesn’t mean I wouldn’t scarf down a bowl of his if it magically appeared before me. It would not have a chance to get cold!
This is a very easy dish to put together, just make sure you have good quality ingredients. No skimping!
I found lovely cuts of salmon and cod at the co-op. You want firm fish for this chowder. I cubed three red skin potatoes and covered with water. Bring the water to a boil and while the potatoes are cooking prep the other ingredients. I chopped half an onion and a couple of cloves of garlic. In a skillet heat up a tablespoon or so of olive oil and begin cooking the onion. Once the onion is translucent add the garlic. I couldn’t find salt pork so I chose to use pancetta instead. If you find salt pork you do not need a lot otherwise you can overpower the chowder. I chopped about 1/2 a cup of pancetta and added it to the skillet.
Add a handful of fresh thyme and a 1/2 cup of dry white wine. Cook for a few minutes. Once the potatoes begin to soften add the contents of the skillet to the pot. Cube the fish and add that as well.
Add enough water to cover the fish. Don’t bring it to a boil! Slowly cook the fish at a low simmer. It will gradually begin to flake without becoming tough.
Season with sea salt and pepper. Add a bit more wine to taste if you need to. Wait until you are ready to serve before you add a cup of cream and two tablespoons of salted butter. Warm through and serve.
My husband made some homemade bread to go with this dish. So good with butter! And it holds up as leftovers.