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Author Notes: This seafood chowder is a delicious option for Catholics and non-Catholics alike during Lent and any other time for that matter. I made this up as I went along, combining all things I love in a good chowder (except the bacon and bacon fat, cause well…). I made it last Friday for a friend who is what I call a super Catholic as he didn’t even want me to cook the vegetables in bacon fat, there must be an extra special spot in heaven for him.
Don’t be alarmed by the mix of seafood, just use fresh and USE REAL CLAMS, not the clams in the tuna aisle (those are gross), the clams in the seafood section of the butcher. It makes a huge difference. These are all mild in taste and texture and the dish is not fishy at all. —Katie Walsh Beck
Serves four to six with bread
- Olive oil and butter OR bacon fat
- ¾ cups diced of each, celery, red pepper and onion
- One or two ellow potatoes, NOT peeled, but diced
- Fresh thyme
- Salt and pepper
- ½ teaspoons Smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon Regular paprika
- ½ teaspoons Dried parsley
- A touch, just a touch, of allspice and of Italian seasoning
- Bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon Tomato paste
- ½ cups Vermouth or dry white wine
- 2 cups Vegetable stock
- 1 ½ cups Seafood stock
- 1 ½ cups Milk, 2% fat or higher
- ½ cups Cream
- The fish…I used fresh cod I don’t know exactly the size, so I’ll say $12 worth of fresh cod diced into medium sized pieces, six large sea scallops quartered and five cherrystone clams
- In a heavy stock pot or Dutch oven heat oil and butter, add vegetables (except for the potatoes) and thyme to sauté until onions are translucent, seasoning them with a little salt and pepper.
- Add tomato paste, paprika (both kinds), parsley, allspice, Italian seasoning and a lil more salt and pepper, and cook for about three minutes to lose the raw tomato taste and blend in to the vegetables.
- Pour in the wine and cook on high til it is evaporated almost completely and then add both stocks and the milk.
- Bring to a simmer and add the potatoes a lil more salt and pepper (the idea is to gently season every layer to get a proper seasoning) and simmer covered until the potatoes are fork tender.
- When potatoes are tender, add the cod and scallops to the soup and continue to simmer for about six or seven minutes, then add the clams and simmer, covered until the clams have opened up. The fish does not go in all at once, clams do not take that long to open up, and once they are open, they are done and if you keep it up they will turn to rubber and are gross, so be mindful of the timing for the fish.
- Add the cream at the end an turn off the heat. Stir in together and taste it, and salt and pepper additionally until you think it is perfect.