The word chowder is an anglicized version of chaudière, the French word for the large iron cauldron in which fishermen used to make their soups. Similar to New England clam chowder but with more varieties of fish and seafood, this recipe also includes mushrooms and tomato. Serve it with crusty rolls and a green salad for a simple supper. You can find this in my new cookbook Flavors of Ireland, released yesterday on www.amazon.com.
10 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 carrot, grated
8 white mushrooms, finely chopped
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
4 cups milk
2 cups fish stock or bottled clam juice, plus more for thinning
3/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 lb. mussels, steamed, shells discarded
1/4 lb. clams, steamed, shells discarded
1/2 lb. mixed seafood, such as salmon, shrimp, and scallops
1 large tomato, diced
2 tbsp. chopped fennel fronds
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 tbsp. minced fresh herbs, such as parsley, chervil, and chives (optional)
1. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt 2 tbsp. of the butter. Add the onion, garlic, carrot, and mushrooms, and cook, stirring constantly, for 3–4 minutes or until the vegetables are soft but not browned. Set aside.
2. In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the remaining 8 tbsp. of the butter. Stir in the flour and cook for 1–2 minutes or until smooth. Slowly add the milk and cook, whisking constantly, for 3–5 minutes or until the mixture is smooth.
3. Add the fish stock or clam juice and wine, bring slowly to a boil, and cook for 4–5 minutes or until the mixture thickens. Stir in the shellfish and seafood and then stir in the vegetables, tomato, and fennel. Season with salt and pepper, and cook for 5–8 minutes longer or until the fish is cooked and the chowder is heated through. Thin with additional stock or clam juice, if desired.
4. To serve, ladle chowder into shallow bowls and sprinkle with the herbs, if using.
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