Monday, July 12, 2010

Fish Chowder in 30 minutes

I am on a diet. Well I am kind of on a diet. Basically I am eliminating excess in the hope I may shed the wobbly bit that jiggles away roughly where my waist once was. I am easing into things by initially removing daily pudding from the menu. Mr Hooper is sad, but with constant reassurance that he 'will be ok' he seems to be coping, we have at least survived day 1 of operation diet.

With my diet in mind I realised I need to increase the amount of fish we eat. I have never been very creative with fish, when ever I buy it I think about doing something fancy, and always turn back to breadcrumbs, cooked in a bit of butter with a wedge of lemon. I constantly return to this method because it is yummy, and suits any kind of fish which is handy for those on a budget. Fish is a hugely important ingredient in our diet, it provides a fabulous source of Omega 3, oily fish more so, but white fish too can increase your intake. Because I am currently taking care of The Boss's nutritional needs I have become very aware of my own dietary needs, and Omega 3 is something I think I need to eat more of. It is meant to improve visual development as well as language, comprehension and cognitive function....who would have thought!

I have never made Chowder before, but I thought this recipe looked so simple that I would give it a go. It only took about 30 minutes, so whats not to love.

Fish Chowder adapted from Ruth Pretty's Favourite Recipes

1 tbspn BUTTER
3 rashers rindless BACON (diced)
1 large ONION (diced)
2tbspn FLOUR
1 large or 2 small POTATOES (peeled and diced)
2 stalks CELERY (finely diced)
2 1/2 cups WATER
1/2 cup of MILK
1/2 cup of CREAM
300g firm flesh white FISH diced (I used Tarakihi and it worked well, you could also use Groper or Cod)

1/4 cup flat leaf PARSLEY (chopped)

1 tspn SALT

Melt butter over a medium heat. Add the bacon, onion and bay leaf, cook until the onion is soft, stirring occasionally.

Add the flour and combine well, stirring for a couple of minutes.

Add the potatoes and celery, stir and coat them with the onion mixture. Keep stirring to prevent sticking on the bottom of the pan.

Add the water and pepper, cover and simmer until the potatoes are cooked but still holding their shape. This can all be done in advance, you can set the pot aside until your ready to finish the chowder.

Pour the milk and cream into the saucepan and stir until hot, but not boiling. Don't allow the chowder to boil, you need to watch it quite carefully from this point. Add the fish and parsley, stirring frequently, heat the chowder until just before boiling, until the fish is cooked. Depending on how big your fish chunks are, this should only take a matter of minutes.

Add the salt to taste and it is ready to serve. We had ours with delicious buttered toast, which I highly recommend.

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