Lobster and Finnan Haddie Chowder
3 to 4 lbs. smoked haddock (butterflied, bone-in) or 2 lbs. smoked cod fillet
6 culls (lobsters with 1 claw), 1 lb. each
2 c. fish stock
3 c. heavy cream
1/2 c. milk
6 Tbsp. butter
1 small onion (sliced)
1 medium onion (diced large )
4 red Bliss potatoes
2 Tbsp. whole black peppercorns
2 sprigs of thyme
4 sprigs of parsley
1/4 c. celery leaves
salt and freshly ground pepper
Soup base: Place smoked haddock or cod in a medium pan. Sprinkle with black peppercorns, thyme, parsley, small onion, and celery leaves. Pour fish stock over the fish (2 cups of water is acceptable). Add 1 cup heavy cream, 1/2 cup milk. Cover pan with foil, and place in a 350 degrees oven for 15 minutes, or until fish turns opaque. Remove from heat and cool. Strain liquid and reserve. Flake fish into big pieces, removing any bones or whole peppercorns. Reserve.
Blanch the culls in boiling salted water for 5 to 6 minutes. Refresh in cold water and take meat from shells, leaving it in big pieces. In a 3-quart stainless saucepan, place 4 of the lobster shells over medium heat with 2 tablespoons butter, sauté until bright red, add 2 cups heavy cream and any fish scraps. Simmer until reduced by a third. Add stock/cream from poaching smoked haddock. Strain. Makes approximately 3 to 3 1/2 cups of soup base.
Sauté onion (diced large) in 4 tablespoons of butter. Add potatoes, cut into chunks, leaving the skin on. Add soup base and simmer until the potatoes are just done. Season with salt and pepper.
In sauté pan over medium heat, sauté lobster meat in 2 tablespoons butter until outside of lobster is red. Add soup base and finnan haddie. Bring just to a boil. Add milk or cream as desired. Ladle into bowls. Place a cold butter chip on top to melt, and parsley for garnish.