Zesty Seafood Chowder
- Medium to large (31⁄2 to 5 quart) slow cooker
- 4 oz smoked bacon, diced 125 g
- 2 leeks, white part with just a hint of green, thinly sliced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp Cajun seasoning 5 mL
- 1 tsp dried thyme leaves 5 mL
- 1 tsp salt 5 mL
- 1⁄2 tsp cracked black peppercorns 2 mL
- 2 tbsp all-purpose flour 25 mL
- 1 cup dry white wine 250 mL
- 2 cups fish stock or 1 cup (250 mL) each bottled clam juice and water500 mL
- 2 potatoes, peeled and diced
- 3 lbs small clams, cleaned 1.5 kg
- 1 lb firm white fish fillets, such as halibut or snapper, cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm) cubes 500 g
- 1 cup corn kernels, thawed if frozen 250 mL
- 1 to 2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and diced
- 1 cup whipping (35%) cream 250 mL
- Finely chopped parsley
- 1. In a skillet, cook bacon over medium-high heat until crisp. Drain well on paper towel cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
- 2. Reduce heat to medium. Add leeks and celery to pan and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, Cajun seasoning, thyme, salt and peppercorns and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add flour and cook, stirring for 1 minute. Add wine, bring to a boil and boil for 2 minutes.
- 3. Transfer to slow cooker stoneware. Stir in fish stock and potatoes. Cover and cook on Low for 8 hours or on High for 4 hours, until potatoes are tender.
- 4. Discard any clams that are open. In a large saucepan over medium_high heat, bring 1 cup (250 mL) water to a rapid boil. Add clams, cover and cook, shaking the pot, until all the clams open. Discard any that do not open. Strain cooking liquid through a fine sieve into a bowl. Using a fork, remove clam meat from shells. Add clam cooking liquid and meat to slow cooker, along with fish fillets, reserved bacon, corn, jalapeño and whipping cream. Cover and cook on High for 10 minutes, until fish is cooked through and flavors meld. Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with parsley.
- Can be halved
- If you are halving this recipe, be sure to use a small (2 to 31⁄2 quart) slow cooker.
- To clean clams, scrub thoroughly with a wire brush and soak in several changes of cold salted water.
- Substitute 2 cans (each 5 oz/142 g) baby clams, drained, for the fresh. Add to slow cooker along with the fish and include 1 cup (250 mL) of water.
- Make Ahead
- Complete Steps 1 and 2. Cover and refrigerate bacon and vegetable mixture separately for up to 2 days. When you're ready to cook, continue with the recipe.
Judith Finlayson http://judithfinlayson.com/