Saturday, December 25, 2010

Smoked Salmon Chowder (local to Boundary Bay Brewpub)

There's a local Brewpub called Boundary Bay that makes the most incredible Smoked Salmon Chowder. And since we did a roasted chicken with cornbread dressing and all the other trimmings just last month, we decided our Christmas meal might be a good bit simpler, leaving us time for a hike this afternoon.

Here's the infamous chowder recipe—slightly modified—since we're not feeding an army, we've scaled the portions down from the original recipe linked above. Measurements are approximate--so feel free to adjust as needed:

2 cups diced potatoes
1 cup diced carrots
1 1/2 cups onions, chopped
1/2 cup celery, chopped
2 T fresh chopped garlic
1 1/2 cup clam juice
1 1/2 cup white wine (we're using SilverLake Sauvignon blanc)
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1/2 cup flour
3 cups heavy cream
1 cup smoked salmon (approx) I like VIS Seafoods' traditional smoked salmon

In a large, heavy-bottom Dutch oven, sauce or stock pan (5 quart is the size I use) combine the wine, clam juice, and thyme. Add the diced vegetables and boil until tender. Reduce heat to a simmer.
Warm the cream (you can actually do this in a microwave - but be careful not to boil or scald, and if you're aghast at the calories, you can use whole milk). Melt the stick of butter, whisk the flour into the melted butter to make a roux, (keep your heat low, you're looking for white-to-blond roux, not darker—so be careful not to brown the butter or flour) and add in the warmed cream. 
Making sure the clam juice/wine/veggie mix is not actually boiling, add the cream roux into the soup pot, stirring gently. Add the flaked salmon. Let simmer another 15 minutes or so, then serve. This is marvelous in bread bowls, or with crusty hunks of warmed baguette, and the rest of that bottle of white wine you used in the chowder stock.

Have a very Merry Christmas, everyone!


Maria Zannini said...

This sounds fantastic. Do you think I could use the same recipe with crab?

My husband has been bugging me to make crab bisque.

Mac said...

For crab bisque, I'd make a couple of small changes, because the crab is a lot more delicately flavored:

2 T Butter
1 T Onion, finely chopped
1 T Celery, finely chopped
1 T Parsley, finely chopped
1 1/2 c Crabmeat, chopped
2 T All-purpose Flour
2 c Chicken broth
1/2 c Cognac
2 c Light Cream
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Salt to taste

In a saucepan, melt the butter. Add the onion and cook slowly until golden. Add the crabmeat and parsley and cook over low heat stirring constantly
(about 5 minutes). Add the flour, stir to blend and cook for 2-3 minutes longer.

Stir in your chicken broth and cognac and simmer very gently for about 20 minutes with pan partially covered. Add (warmed) light cream and a pinch of cayenne. Salt to taste. Garnish with a little more lump crab meat and maybe a drizzle of excellent herbed olive oil (fresh tarragon or good parsely is especially nice.)

Makes a generous quart or so.