Seafood Chowder

Seafood Chowder

4 tablespoons fruity extra virgin olive oil, or as needed
1 stick of butter, or as needed
6 shallots, peeled and sliced
4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1 piece celery root, peeled and diced small
2 dried bay leaves
Up to 2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 cup white wine
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
6 cups fish stock, or 3 cups clam juice and 3 cups chicken broth
1 pound carrots, peeled and diced small
1½ pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and diced small
½ to 1 cup heavy cream
1½ pounds mussels, washed and de-bearded
1 pound fresh fish (salmon, halibut, cod, monkfish, snapper) cut into 1-inch pieces
3 ounces smoked trout, finely diced (optional)
2 dozen medium shrimp, peeled and de-veined, shells reserved for stock
1 pint shucked oysters
12 large sea scallops, sliced in half
2 to 3 tablespoons fresh tarragon, stemmed
2 to 3 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, chopped
1 thin slice of lemon per serving

Heat a 4- to 6-quart heavy pot; add oil and butter. Sauté shallots, garlic, celery root and bay leaves, adding 1 pinch of kosher salt. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring regularly. Remove vegetables. Add white wine to pot. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until wine is reduced by half.

Add cayenne, fish stock, carrots and potatoes.

Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 to12 minutes. Add cream; simmer 5 minutes more. While broth is simmering, add mussels; cook until they open. Add fish pieces and smoked trout (if desired); simmer 4 to 5 minutes. Add oysters and shrimp; cook 2 minutes. Add scallops, tarragon and parsley; cover pan, and simmer 1 minute more. Taste. Add more salt if necessary. Ladle chowder into serving bowl, or, for individual servings, place one slice of lemon into each bowl, and ladle chowder over lemon. Serves 8.

Nutritional information per serving: 637 calories; 31 grams fat; 36 grams protein, 39 grams carbohydrate, 3 grams fiber.

Fish stock

Shrimp shells from 2 dozen peeled shrimp
1 tablespoon butter
Head and bones of 2 salmon, red snapper or other small white fish, gills removed, and rinsed clean of any blood
6 cups cold water
1 cup dry white wine
2 dried bay leaves
8 black or white peppercorns
2 ribs of celery, thinly sliced
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
2 carrots, thinly sliced
½ cup chopped fresh Italian parsley, including leaves and stems
Kosher or sea salt to taste

In a large (4- to 6-quart) stockpot, sauté shrimp shells in butter, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add fish bones, water and wine. Bring to a boil, skimming off the white foam that forms on top of the stock. Add bay leaves, peppercorns, celery, onion, carrots and parsley; reduce heat. Simmer 20 to 25 minutes.

Remove pot from the stove. Stir the stock again, and allow to steep for 10 minutes. Strain through a fine mesh strainer (chinois) or cheesecloth. Season lightly with salt. If you are not going to be using the stock within the hour, chill it as quickly as possible.

Makes 6 cups.

Nutritional information per cup: 33 calories, 1 gram fat, 1 gram protein, 3 grams carbohydrate, 1 gram fiber.


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