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Archive for the ‘Chowder’ Category

A meal in a bowl, this tasty chowder makes a filling main course on a chilly day and it is quick to make.   I added some mushrooms to the original recipe because they go well with bacon – and because I like them!  The original recipe suggested a gammon steak, but I used bacon – some supermarkets, ASDA included, usefully sell packs of mixed mishape bacon pieces. I also often use only ½ a stock cube as the flavour can be rather synthetic and salty. The original recipe served the meal with crusty bread, but I served it with warm cheese scones, a good accompaniment for the bacon.

This recipe was originally published in the ASDA free instore magazine, April 2008 issue.

100_3277 Swt Pot, Swtcorn & Bacon Chowder

'Meanderings through my Cookbook' http://www.hopeeternalcookbook.wordpress.com

Sweet Potato, Sweetcorn & Bacon Chowder
(Serves 4)

500g unsmoked bacon (but could be smoked, or a mixture, if you wish)
125g button mushrooms, quartered or sliced.
1tbsp sunflower oil
1 medium onion, chopped
700ml chicken stock or hot water with ½ dissolved chicken stock cube
1 large potato cut into small cubes
1 large sweet potato cut into small cubes
326g can Sweetcorn, drained
2tbsp chopped parsley
150g (half a pot) Elmlea single cream

1. Cut the meat into small pieces removing any excess fat. Heat the oil in a large pan and cook with the mushrooms for 4-5 minutes until just cooked. Remove and set aside leaving as much fat in the pan as possible as it will add flavour to the other ingredients.

2. Cook the onion in the oil over a low heat until soft and translucent.

3. Add the stock, potato and sweet potato. Cover, bring to the boil and simmer gently for about 15 minutes until tender.

4. Using a draining spoon, remove a third of the potato and onion and puree in a blender with a little of the cooking liquid.

5. Return to the pan with the cooked bacon and mushroom, add the sweetcorn and simmer covered for 5 minutes. Add the parsley and cream, season if necessary and reheat.

6. Serve with crusty bread or, as mentioned above, with warmed cheese scones.

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This comforting and reasonably quick to make fishy bowlful is best enjoyed on a cold evenings round the fire. I have been known to make it for a busy Christmas eve or Good Friday evening.   Since first making this recipe I have managed to find a good source of fish stock which is not easy to find in the UK.  When on holiday in France over the summer I bought a small tub of dried powder labelled Fumet des Poissons in Carrefour supermarket (own brand, blue tub) and I am definitely not disappointed with the added flavour it gives to this dish.  Own brands and more expensive branded versions are available in other French supermarkets – I shall be stocking up next time I go!

The original version of the recipe comes from the excellent Complete Low Fat Cookbook by Sue Kreitzman, though I have adapted it very slightly. The first time I tried it I had no parsley and as it needed some green I added peas, an addition we have kept as we liked it so much! I also left out the wine, as I was feeding young children who might not have liked the flavour and have continued to leave it out.  More recently I have added a tablespoon of white wine vinegar and some chopped bacon, both of which augment the flavour of the fish.  It is suggested that the pepper is put under the grill and warmed through until skin starts to pucker before cutting up as this draws out the sweetness.  If you want to remove the skin, especially if it chars, then put it in a plastic bag for about 5 minutes which will make it easier to peel away.

100_4367 Smoky Fish Chowder

'Meanderings through my Cookbook' http://www.hopeeternalcookbook.wordpress.com

Smoky Fish Chowder
(Serves 4-6)

1 large onion, coarsely chopped
2ozs/50g chopped bacon (smoked or unsmoked)
24fl ozs/750ml fish stock (or vegetable stock or water)
2 fl ozs/50ml white wine (optional) or 1tbsp white wine vinegar
1pt/600ml skimmed milk
3 medium all purpose potatoes (boil until almost cooked, peel & dice coarsely)
1 red pepper, chopped
12oz/350g can sweetcorn kernels
4ozs/100g frozen peas (pre-cooked for 5 minutes)
12ozs/350g firm white fish (skin & cut into 1″ (2.5cm) cubes)
12ozs/350g skinned smoked haddock/hoki (cut into 1″ (2.5cm) cubes)
6ozs/175g cooked peeled prawns
freshly ground pepper
chopped fresh parsley

1. Combine the onion, 4fl ozs/100ml of the stock/water, plus wine or wine vinegar, if using, in a large heavy bottomed saucepan. Cover, bring to boil and boil for 5 minutes.

2. Uncover and simmer briskly until the onion is tender and starting to brown. Stir in the bacon and gently fry with the onion.

3. Stir in the remaining liquid and bring to a simmer.

(I like to keep about half of the liquids back and add during cooking, if needed, as when I originally cooked this recipe the end result was rather over wet. Let your own taste preference dictate what proportions of milk and stock/water you add.)

4. Add the potatoes and simmer gently for 3-5 minutes. Stir in the red pepper and corn and simmer for 5 minutes more.

5. Cool slightly, then puree half the mixture in a blender. Return to the pan, rinsing the blender with small amounts of water and adding this to the pan as well and bring back to a simmer.

6. Stir in the peas and fish cubes and simmer for 5 minutes.

7. Stir in the prawns and heat through.

8. Season with pepper and serve at once sprinkled with parsley.

9. Serve in a bowl and eat with a spoon, accompanied with a chunk of crusty granary or white bread.

(This recipe was first posted on 29 March 2008 at my original blog Meanderings along the narrow way)  Updated 16 June 2009 & 12 November 2010

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