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Author Notes: Last weekend Jediah & I went to Portland & stopped in at Brown Trading Co. on the way out of town to grab some lunch for the road. It was a tough one between a Maine smoked salmon & cream cheese sandwich on focaccia bread or the Maine haddock-scallop chowder. The chowder won out, based on the cream cheese smothered bagel from Scratch Baking Co. that we ate for breakfast.
Hence the reason for this post, the chowder was AMAZING, & I had to recreate it. I don't want to toot-my-own-horn or anything, but I think the flavors are not only comparable, but really, really good. The creamy broth is clairvoyant instead of thickened with flour or cornstarch, while the seasonings are little surprising but simple. I actually felt like I was recalling some Spanish flavors with olive oil from Spain, using potatoes, & smokey Spanish paprika. Paprika adds a really subtle smokiness to the chowder, without using some sort of smoked meat & adds a gorgeous color to the broth.
I hope you try this with whatever white fish looks good where you live; for me it was hake & the scallops are in season in Maine. I served mine with little oyster crackers, a French rose (mmm... pink wine!) for me, & Jediah had a local pale ale. I can't wait to eat the leftovers for lunch today! —we eat. happy.
- 4 tablespoons butter
- a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
- 1 onion, peeled & diced
- 2 celery stalks (leaves okay), thinly sliced
- 3-4 starchy yellow potatoes, diced into bite sized bits
- 1 sprig of rosemary, leaves pulled off & chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon Spanish sweet paprika (I love La Chinata)
- sea salt & cracked pepper to taste
- 3/4 pound fresh, wild caught white fish (haddock, hake, cod)
- 1/2 pound (about 6) sea scallops, halved or quarted
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- 1 cup organic half & half or whole milk, warmed in a small pot
- In a large stock pot over medium heat the add butter & oil. Let melt a bit, then add the onions, celery, potatoes, rosemary, paprika & seasoning.
- Cover, but stir often. After about 10 minutes the onions should be about lucid.
- Add the broth, cover & bring up to a boil. Once boiled, reduce heat & simmer for about 23-30 minutes.
- After about a half hour, add the whole piece of fish & scallops. Continue cooking covered for 15 minutes.
- Uncover & turn heat down to low. Add warmed milk slowly, making sure it does not split (although it should not it you warm it over the oven).
- Stir together. You can serve it right away or leave it on the oven on low for a bit before you serve it to really let the flavors marry.