Friday, February 11, 2011

Halibut Chowder


Halibut Chowder

Ingredients

1 pound fresh halibut, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Old Bay seasoning
1 large Yukon gold potato, cut into 1/2-inch dice
6 slices thick cut bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 small yellow onion, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup clam juice
1 cup heavy cream
Sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper
Finely chopped fresh parsley and chives, for serving

Method

Place potatoes in a small pot, add a teaspoon of Kosher salt and cover with water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to maintain a gentle rolling boil. Cook until potatoes are not quite tender, about 8 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Generously season the halibut chunks with Old Bay, then add to the skillet. Saute the halibut, shaking the pan occasionally, until not quite done, about 4 minutes. Set aside.

Cook bacon in a heavy skillet over medium high heat until crisp. Scoop out the bacon pieces onto a paper towel lined plate. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the bacon fat, lower heat to medium low and add 1 tablespoon butter. Add onion and garlic and cook until softened, about 4 minutes.

Add 1 cup clam juice and simmer for 3 minutes. Add fresh cream and keep simmering for another 5. Finally, add halibut and potatoes and simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes more.

Season to taste with sea salt and cracked pepper. Ladle into bowls and garnish with bacon, parsley and chives.

Serves 4 as a soup course or 2 as a main course

NOTES

Steve was leery of me making a "fish dish" for dinner. Honestly, it's just not his bag... but he *loved* this. Tremendously. Like, ranting and raving about it, moaning with each bite, loved this. And I did too. There's really no overstating how well this turned out. My prevailing thought was that I managed to achieve something as savory and satisfying as all our favorite chowders we've had in northern California and the Central Coast. And for me, that's as good as it gets.