Home > Uncategorized > Randall Cooks: Smoked Salmon Chowder

Randall Cooks: Smoked Salmon Chowder

Bacon, smoked salmon, potatoes, cream, wine…there is pretty much no way this wouldn’t be good, right?

I’m sure had I followed the recipe from April Bloomfield’s “A Girl and Her Pig” more closely, it would have turned out even better, but I didn’t have smoked haddock; I had smoked salmon.

Fancy cookin’? Of course not!

It might be a disservice to Chef Bloomfield to simply call my dish a Pacific-Northwesterner’s take on her “Smoked Haddock Chowder,” but I didn’t stray too far from what she wrote other than type of fish used and the obvious skill gap between her and I in all things culinary.

1.25 pounds potatoes (I was trying for 3/4 pound, but ended up having a rather heavy hand at the farmers market. Get a firm potato that won’t fall apart too easily when cooked.), peeled and diced

1 pint whole milk

1 pink heavy whipping cream

Put these three items in a saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil; cook until the potatoes are cooked through, but don’t fall apart too easily when you pinch them. Cooking time will depend on how large you dice the potatoes. Remove the pan from heat.

1/2 pound smoked salmon

Submerge the salmon in the milk mixture and let steep among the potatoes off the heat while you do the next few steps.

1/4 olive oil

1/4 pound bacon ends (again, purchased at farmers market and suggested by farmer as ideal for my purpose), diced smallish

2 carrots, cut into thick matchsticks

2 stalks celery, cut into thick matchsticks

1 yellow onion, diced

1/2 cup sauvignon blanc (Monkey Bay is what I used. Tasty!)

2 cups fish stock (also made with an April Bloomfield recipe, also found in her new book)

Heat the olive oil in a stockpot to smoking over medium heat. Fry the bacon in the hot oil briefly, just until the fat begins to render, 2 to 3 minutes.

Obligatory hipster bacon appeal…

Add the carrot, celery, and onion; keep cooking until the vegetables are tender, no more than 10 minutes more.

Pretty, non?

Deglaze with the wine. That is, pour the wine into the pot and scrape whatever you can from the bottom of the pot with a flat edged implement of some sort. I’ve some lovely bamboo spoons I got with some woks at one time that are perfectly suited for this move. Pour the fish stock into the pot; stir. Let the mixture simmer until the liquid reduces by about half.

Okay, NOW you can remove the salmon from the milk. Scoop about half the potatoes from the milk mixture and add to the stockpot. Puree the remaining half either in a blender or with an immersion blender (If you don’t have one, get one! They’re brilliant!). Add the pureed potatoes to the pot. Bring the mixture to a simmer. Break the salmon into chunks and add to the soup; stir. Cook until it’s all hot, about 5 minutes more. Garnish with some chopped fresh parsley.

Better cook than photographer


See? Wasn’t that hard. Not too fussy for having originated from a pretty accomplished and talented chef.

No, not me…HER!

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. rcs
    October 17, 2012 at 8:28 pm

    I just wandered over here from Whatever after you “won” the 300,000 commenter race. I think I have to make this chowder this weekend. I’m in Snohomish county, so of course it will be the salmon!

    • October 18, 2012 at 9:12 am

      Do it! Perfect weather for it this weekend, by all appearances.

  2. rcs
    October 18, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    Yeah, not sure when we’ll see the sun again. Nice extended summer though (when it finally got here!)

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