Halibut Chowder

October 2014 - With all the fish I brought back from Alaska, I need some new recipes. Jon sent me the base recipe here. It called for some spice combos like "toasted onion herb mix." I tried to guess what might be in those mixes and this recipe is the result.

We made it last night for six people and it was just delicious. The gentle cooking of the halibut kept it moist and tender. I was suspicious about the can of clams, but their chewiness was a pleasant component. You could make this an all clam chowder by leaving out the halibut and using three cans of clams. We use 2 cups of heavy cream, but the resulting chowder is a light, soupy one - like my dad used to make. It isn't a heavy, thick chowder.

Frankly, I would make this with half the corn - or maybe none at all - but our guests all found the corn to be an important flavor in the dish. If you don't have an opinion, then you might have to make it twice to find out!

Time: Total cooking time is about an hour. You can do the first few steps ahead of time and finish it off in 15 minutes.
Serves: 6 with hearty bowlfuls.

Serve it with bread and salad.

A. bacon, smoky 4 slices  

In a 6-quart heavy pot, fry the bacon until crispy.

Chop into little bits and set aside.
B. celery 1 cup Diced
onion 1 cup Diced
garlic 2 tablespoons Minced
  onion powder 1 teaspoon  
  garlic powder 1.5 teaspoon  
  Worchester sauce 1 teaspoon  
  beef bullion powder 1 gram Or 0.25 of a cube

Heat the pot with the bacon fat (bacon removed) over medium high. Add these ingredients and cook until the onions are just starting to clear, about 6 minutes.

At this point you can hold the mixture off the heat for an hour. The next steps will take 15 minutes.
C. chicken stock 4 cups  
red potatoes 2 cups Cut into 0.25 inch cubes. If cut ahead of time, store in a pot of cool water.
corn, frozen 0.5 cup Defrosted.
  parsley, dried 1/8 teaspoon  
  basil, dried 1/8 teaspoon  
  chives, dried 0.25 teaspoon  
  marjoram, dried 1/8 teaspoon  
  paprika, smoky 1/8 teaspoon Not the sweet variety.
  salt 1/8 teaspoon  
  black pepper, ground 0.25 teaspoon  

Add these all to the onion / celery mix pot.

Bring to a gentle boil and cook until the potatoes are tender. 10 minutes.
D. heavy cream 2 cups You could substitute whole milk or non-fat, but why?

Add the cream to the pot and bring to a gentle simmer. Then turn off the heat.
E. clams, jarred small jar Keep half the juice.
halibut 2 pounds Cut into 0.25 inch cubes

Add these to the chowder and let it sit for five minutes.

Serve in wide bowls with sourdough bread and butter.