This seafood chowder is a fantastic starter for New Year's dinner...full of potatoes, celery, fresh seafood (well, fresh from the fish counter and the freezer) and rich cream...now that I think about it, this hearty soup would actually do nicely as your main course on New Year's Day!
First, cut 2 slices of very thick bacon into pieces (or use 4 thin slices of bacon)
In a large stock pot, over medium heat, fry the bacon until crisp...
...when fully cooked, transfer bacon with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate and set aside...discard all but 1 tbsp. of the bacon grease from your soup pot.
Melt 3 tbsps. of unsalted butter in the stock pot along with the reserved tbsp. of bacon grease (if using salted, reduce the amount of salt by a 1/4 tsp. called for later in the recipe)...
Thinly slice 2 stalks of celery and chop 1 onion and saute for about 5-6 minutes or until onion is tender.
Add a 1/2 tsp. of salt, (or a 1/4 tsp. if you used salted butter earlier in the recipe)
Next, sprinkle a 1/4 cup of all purpose flour over your sauteed vegetables...
...scraping the brown bits from the bottom of the pot while stirring flour into your butter/vegetable mixture (the flour will make a sort of thick roux with the butter which will act as a thickening agent for your chowder when the liquid is added).
Peel and dice 3 medium potatoes and add to the pot...
...along with 1 cup of white wine.
Again, scraping the bits from the bottom as your stir.
Next, add in 2 cups of water...stir well, until the water and flour make a smooth broth.
Open 2 cans of clams and add the juice, reserving the strained clams...set clams aside. Cover pot, bring to a gentle boil and simmer for about 10 minutes or until the potatoes are fairly tender (if the potatoes are still a bit firm, they will have more time to simmer when you add the fish and seafood...you don't want mushy potatoes!)
Chop a filet of fresh haddock into bite sized pieces (about a 1/2 lb.), rinse and drain (thawed) raw shrimp (about 25-30) and slice scallops in half (about a 1/4 lb.)
Next, to the pot, add the chopped fish, shrimp, scallops, the 2 cans of strained clams and the reserved bacon...
...1 can of full fat evaporated milk (such as "Carnation", or in my case "No Name", cause it was on sale!)
...and finally, 1 cup of heavy cream (35%)...put the lid back on stock pot and bring soup to a gentle boil, again, simmering for about 7-9 minutes or until fish and seafood are cooked through...the fish and scallops should be somewhat firm and the shrimp will turn pink when done. The chowder will also start to thicken at this point.
Serve this Maritime favourite with fresh bread as a meal starter or as a meal in itself...this satisfying chowder is a great winter warmer and will bring a taste of the sea to your home!
East Coast Seafood Chowder
2 slices of very thick cut bacon, diced.
3 tbsps. of unsalted butter
2 stalks of celery, thinly sliced
1 onion, chopped
1/4 of all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. of salt (or 1/4 tsp. if you are using salted butter to saute onions and celery)
3 medium potatoes, peeled & cubed (I used Yukon Gold, yellow flesh potatoes)
1 cup of white wine
2 cups of water
2 cans of baby clams, strained, reserving juice
1 pkg. of frozen, raw, shelled & deveined shrimp (thawed) approximately 25-30 shrimp
1/4 lb. of fresh sea scallops, cut in half (about 15 medium sized scallops)
1 fresh haddock filet, cut into pieces (approximately a 1/2 lb. piece of fish)
1 can of full fat evaporated milk (such as "Carnation")
1 cup of heavy cream (35%)
In a large stock pot, over medium heat, cook the chopped bacon until crisp. Transfer bacon to a paper towel lined plate and set aside, reserving 1 tbsp. of grease in the pot. To the pot, add 3 tbsps. of unsalted butter and saute the sliced celery and chopped onion until tender (about 5-6 minutes). Add the salt and flour, stirring mixture until flour and butter make a thick roux. Next, add the wine, stirring until broth is fairly smooth then add the cubed potatoes...pour in the water and clam juice then cover pot and simmer until potatoes are fairly tender (about 10 minutes). Add chopped fish, scallops, shrimp, 2 cans of clams, reserved bacon, evaporated milk and heavy cream...cover with lid again, bring to a gentle boil and simmer until fish and seafood are cooked through (approximately 7-9 minutes)...the chowder will also thicken somewhat at this point. Remove from heat and serve...Enjoy! :)