Seafood Chowder! Chowda!

The cold weather is starting to set in, and that means it’s time for even more comfort food. This week, Erin and I will be bringing you two iterations of chowder. I’m going to start off with a creamy seafood chowder with salmon and scallops. This recipe is simple, delicious, filling, and comforting, perfect for the early stretch of fall when the days are getting cooler.

WHAT YOU’LL NEED

  • a four quart pot
  • seafood broth or water
  • celery
  • carrots
  • onion
  • garlic
  • 2 bay leaves
  • a quart of whole milk or cream
  • half a stick of butter
  • 1/2 a cup of flour
  • a bag of frozen scallop pieces
  • 2 frozen salmon filets

To start, you’ll want to fill a four-quart pot with water or seafood broth. No worries if you can’t find seafood broth, we’re going to make this soup either way!

Next, you’ll finely dice your onion, carrot, and garlic. Put them in the pot of boiling water or broth, and let them cook for about 20 – 25 minutes, or until soft.

Next, you’re going to add your frozen salmon. You want to cook it until it flakes apart with a fork and imbues the broth with its flavor.

Okay, here’s the part that’s partially up to you: do you want a very heavy, rich broth, or are you going to go a little lighter? Either way, while you decide, you’ll melt your butter in a sauce pan and make a roux with the flour. You do this by mixing in the flour and stirring consistently until it thickens and browns slightly. After this, you’ll take your whole milk or cream and add it to the roux, stirring constantly until it becomes thicker.

Now that your thickened cream is ready, put the frozen scallop pieces in the pot of boiling broth. They’re a little more delicate than the salmon, and you’ll want to cook them less time, just until soft. I use the pieces for this recipe because they’re already broken apart, and less expensive, but you can use whole scallops, as well.

When your scallops are just about cooked and your salmon is flaking apart, you’ll add the thickened cream to the broth. Note here: if you use milk, you may have to thicken the brother to your liking — you can do so with flour and hot water made into a paste and stirred slowly into the broth, or by adding some sour cream. If you use the heavy cream, you should get a nice, thick consistency.

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