Friday, November 14, 2014

PickFishes' Copper River Smoked Salmon Chowder Recipe

PickFishes’ Copper River Smoked Salmon Chowder


4 slices bacon
1 carrot
1-2 stalks celery (optional)
1 -2 small onion
1-2 cloves garlic
6-8 small potatoes, pealed
¼ cup flour
2 Tablespoon butter
4-6 cups stock (I used home made chicken stock)
1-cup corn (I used frozen)
6-8 ounces Smoked Copper River Salmon
½-1 pint heavy cream
Salt and pepper to taste

I’ve learned over the years of cooking on a boat, life is just infinitely easier if you just prep absolutely everything you are going to need to prepare a meal before hand.
Because, inevitably, there will be some surprise come up while cooking.  Either another boat runs by and wakes you, the skipper decides he has to run the net just as your pot starts to boil and you have to grab it before boiling spaghetti water goes flying all over the cabin getting everyone nice 2nd degree burns, or its just rough enough that you have to hold on while you are cooking (which means you will have to hold the pot while its cooking). If you are like me and only have two hands, its impossible to hold the pot and chop something at the same time, or  (and this is my personal favorite) even though the skipper knows you are cooking a meal, he decides the net needs to be picked right this very second and the whole meal gets put on hold.  For whatever reason, I just like to have everything ready before I begin.  But, you can do whatever you would like to do.  This recipe is just a guideline.  Actually, as some of you may know, I personally can’t seem to follow a recipe to save my life, which is how I came up with this recipe.  I don’t know why, (maybe I just have a problem with authority) or I just don’t have all the ingredients so I substitute (again, boat life means you sort of have to work with what you have since running to the store usually isn’t an option), or I don’t like an ingredient so I leave it out, or (which just happened with this recipe) after going to three different stores, I gave up looking for celery so I left it out.  Anyway, I digress.  This recipe here is a combination of four different recipes that I found for smoked salmon chowder.  Well, actually, three different recipes for smoked salmon chowder and I followed part of the Pioneer Woman’s recipe for “Perfect Potato Soup”.  (Thanks Pioneer Woman!)  So feel free to follow it or use it as a guideline, up to you. Ok, here we go.

·      Peel potatoes and cube into small pieces (otherwise they take forever to cook)
·      Dice onions, carrot, celery (optional) into small pieces
·      Peel garlic and either slice it into very small pieces or get it ready for the garlic press, which is what I did
·      Slice bacon into small cubes
·      Measure out ¼ cup flour
·      Measure out about 1 cup of corn

Ok.  I’m a little afraid of your judgment when I tell you the first step so I’m going to defend myself right now.  As I mentioned I’m in Finland for the winter at latitude 62.24.  Its mid November and it is already cold and dark.  My body wants FAT!  So, if you are concerned about your fat intake you can adjust the first step to your liking but if you are in the mood for hearty chowder, then I’m giving you permission to follow this recipe to a “T”.  And, for the record, this first part is part of one of the recipes I found and followed.  So, don’t shoot the messenger.  Ok, here we go.  Again.

In heavy soup pot on medium high heat, melt your 2 Tablespoons butter, add bacon.  Yes, this recipe calls for cooking bacon in butter.   Yum. You know this is going to be good.  Besides, the goodness of the salmon should counteract the badness of bacon cooked in butter.  I think.

·      Cook bacon until mostly brown, about 2-3 minutes.
·      Add onion, carrot, and your optional celery.
·      Cook until onions are near translucent, about another 2-3 minutes.
·      Then add your potatoes and salt to your liking.  Cook this bacon, onion, carrot, optional celery,   potato and salt combination about 4 or 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
·      Add garlic, stir. 
·      Add pepper to your liking.
·      Sprinkle on ¼ cup flour and stir, making a quick roux.
·      After the flour is all mixed in, add your chicken stock, about 4-6 cups. 
·      Stir and turn heat down to about a low-medium.
·      Add your cup of corn
·      Open your 6-8 ounce package of smoked salmon and pour the oil from the salmon into the soup.  Then dump salmon onto a cutting board and cut into small pea sized pieces.
·      Add smoked salmon to soup, go ahead and throw in all the skin and oil.  Its good for you.
·      Stir and let simmer about 5 minutes or until your potatoes are fully cooked.  Once the potatoes are fully cooked, you can add the cream.
·      Then add your ½ -1 pint heavy cream.  Stir. (I used ½ pint and it was plenty rich and creamy.  Feel free to substitute milk or a combination of heavy cream and milk, but with the bacon and the butter, does it really matter at this point?)
·      Turn down heat to low, you don’t want the soup to scorch or the cream to separate.
·      Serve and enjoy!

Let me know how you like this recipe, how it came out for you, or if you made any changes!

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